Striking for the third time in less than two weeks to secure the services of a key, young player for the long term, the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday evening reached agreement with wide receiver Reggie Brown on a five-year contract extension.
Brown signed the contract Friday.
Last week, the Eagles signed defensive tackle Mike Patterson, their first-round choice in 2005, to a seven-year extension. On Monday, defensive end Trent Cole, a fifth-round choice in 2005, signed a five-year add-on. A second-round choice, Brown becomes the third member of the 2005 draft class to earn a new deal well in advance of his original rookie contract expiring.
The five-year extension, which runs through the 2014 season, can be worth as much as $27 million and it includes $10 million in guarantees.
As the 35th player selected overall in the 2005 draft, Brown signed a five-year, $4.77 million contract that included $2.55 million in guarantees. The long-term extension, despite coming so early in Brown's original contract, is in keeping with the Eagles' history of signing "nucleus"-type players long before they have a chance to test the free-agent market.
"We started talking two or three weeks ago and, even after Monday passed, we kept at it," agent Bill Johnson said. "The Eagles had a desire to keep Reggie a big part of their future, and it's where he wanted to be for his entire career, if possible. We're talking about a pretty modest guy here, not one who is out collecting Bentleys, and so this means lifetime security for him and for his family."
Monday was the deadline by which teams had to sign players to have what normally would be counted as signing bonus money calculated as additional base salary for 2006. The two sides negotiated right up to the Monday afternoon deadline, couldn't strike a deal, but continued the bargaining process.
Brown, 25, worked his way into the starting lineup in 2005, starting in 11 of his 16 appearances, and he had 43 receptions for 571 yards and four touchdowns. In eight games this season, he has 26 receptions for 502 yards and five touchdowns. His 19.3-yard average is the best in the NFL among players with 25 or more receptions, and his average of a touchdown catch every 5.2 receptions ranks among the best in the league.
The former University of Georgia star is considered by many teams to be a prototype No. 2 wide receiver, but he is generally viewed by the Eagles as their lead receiver. The Philadelphia coaches have consistently lauded Brown's work ethic and, while he still struggles through some stretches of inconsistency, he is held in high esteem by the organization.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.