Graham agrees to new deal with Bucs

Published: June 29th, 2008
By Bucs Beat | - St. Petersburg Times and tbt*

Earnest Graham's patience finally paid off.

Big time.

Graham has agreed to a four-year deal worth $11-million, ending any possibility of a training camp holdout.

The agreement was first reported Sunday night by Graham, 28, did not participate in  Organized Team Activities or the off-season workout program, presumably because he wanted a contract extension. He did participate in the Bucs' mandatory minicamp.

Terms of the deal have not been released, so it's unknown how much of that $11-million is back-loaded or what is guaranteed.

Graham emerged as a starter for the first time in his career last season after injuries to Cadillac Williams and Michael Pittman. He saved the day and possibly the season for the Bucs, rushing for 898 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.

While Graham took the silent approach, quarterback Jeff Garcia has been very vocal about his disgust over the lack of progress in his talks with the Bucs on a contract extension. Now that Graham is in the fold, maybe the Bucs will turn their attention to reaching an accord with their 38-year-old quarterback.

There's still plenty of time before the team reports to training camp July 25.