Pro Bowl safety Hamlin gets guaranteed $15M in new contract

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys safety Ken Hamlin won't have to wait until after the season for a long-term contract.

The Cowboys and Hamlin agreed Tuesday on a $39 million, six-year deal that includes a $9 million signing bonus and guarantees the Pro Bowl safety about $15 million.

After coming to Dallas on a $2.5 million free-agent deal following four years in Seattle, the 27-year-old Hamlin set career highs with five interceptions and 102 tackles for the Cowboys last season. He was a starter for the NFC in his first Pro Bowl.

Hamlin didn't participate in offseason workouts because he never signed a one-year, $4.4 million tender after the Cowboys in February designated him as their franchise player. But he remained in contact with defensive coaches the entire time.

Had Hamlin not reached another deal by Tuesday, he would have had to play the 2008 season under the one-year deal based on the average salary of the five highest-paid safeties in the NFL. He then wouldn't have been able to sign a multiyear contract until after the season.

The six-year deal signed by Hamlin is similar to what safety Gibril Wilson got from Oakland this offseason. Kerry Rhodes signed a $33.5 million, five-year deal with the New York Jets.

Hamlin was one of the NFL-record 13 Pro Bowlers the Cowboys had last season, when they matched a franchise record with 13 victories before losing to the New York Giants in the divisional playoff game.

The Cowboys also gave new long-term contracts this offseason to four other Pro Bowlers: receiver Terrell Owens, left tackle Flozell Adams, running back Marion Barber and cornerback Terence Newman.

The Cowboys report to training camp in Oxnard, Calif., on July 24.