Steelers, Maddox renegotiate deal

<b>PITTSBURGH--</b>The Steelers and quarterback Tommy Maddox have come to an agreement on a one-year contract extension that lengthens his deal through the 2007 season. Maddox signed the deal Monday morning. Financial terms were not disclosed, although is reporting Maddox has received a $2 million bonus.

Maddox has incentives in the contract that could make the deal worth $14 million after four years. Maddox will not have the same easily-to-achieve bonuses that totaled nearly $400,000 the last two years. Those bonuses, which are counted towards the team's cap number prior to the start of the season, allowed Maddox to earn approximately $1.15 million in base salary last year.

A former first-round draft selection in the 1992 draft, Maddox signed with the team as an unrestricted free agent June 12, 2001. He took over as the Steelers' starting quarterback four games into the 2002 season.

In just nearly two seasons as the team's starter, Maddox has already set many team passing records, including passing attempts in a season (519), completions in a season (298), single-game passing yardage (473), single-game postseason passing yardage (367), career 300-yard passing games (6), and the season passing completion percentage mark (60.2 in 2002). He helped lead the Steelers to the AFC Divisional Playoffs in his first season as the starter in 2002 and nearly helped orchestrate a dramatic come-from-behind victory at Tennessee, which the Steelers eventually lost in overtime, 34-31.

Maddox currently ranks ninth on the Steelers' all-time passing yardage list with 6,404 yards and has the second-highest career passer-rating (79.9) in team history. He is 13-13-1 in 27 games as the Steelers' starting quarterback.

In other news, the Steelers announced the signing of free agent safety Ainsley Battles to a one-year contract. Battles entered the NFL in 2000 with the Steelers as a rookie free agent from Vanderbilt. One of only three rookie free agents (fullback Dan Kreider and linebacker Donnel Thompson) to earn a roster spot for the Steelers in 2000, he played the entire season for the team. He was released prior to the 2001 season and spent the ensuing three seasons with Jacksonville and Buffalo, respectively. Battles will wear jersey number 37.

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