McKenzie signs contract extension

GREEN BAY - Cornerback Mike McKenzie on Friday got enough green to stay in green and gold for five years.<p> McKenzie, who could have become a restricted free agent in two months, signed a five-year contract extension worth $17.1 million, and includes a $3.5 million signing bonus, according to league sources.<p> Green Bay officials had made McKenzie's extension a priority, and opted to keep him now rather than permit the former Memphis star to be tempted by total freedom in another year.<p>

The team has been working for a few weeks on the new deal, and it was complicated Thursday when the Chicago Bears signed cornerback R.W. McQuarters to a five-year extension worth $21.25 million. That deal will pay McQuarters, a four-year veteran, $6.9 million before the start of training camp and $8.15 million in total compensation for 2002.

Although the McKenzie deal is worth about $4 million less, he was one fewer season accrued in league service.

McKenzie, 25, started all 16 games in 2001 and had a career-best 70 tackles, along with two interceptions and 21 passes defensed. For his career, he had appeared in 42 games and started 40 of them, with 162 tackles, nine interceptions and 40 passes defensed.

Against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 30 at Lambeau Field, the third-year veteran intercepted a pass from quarterback Spergon Wynn and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown in Green Bay's 24-13 win.

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