The Tennessee Titans took a major step toward long-term stability on their offensive line, locking up left tackle Michael Roos to a six-year, $43 million deal Friday afternoon, just one day before the NFL Draft opens.
Roos, who turns 26 in October, will receive $15 million in guaranteed money from the deal and can earn another $1.5 million in escalators if he makes the Pro Bowl.
“We’ve been working on this for probably two months,” Roos’ agent Cameron Foster said. “I’ve been negotiating with [Titans senior director of football administration] Vin Marino, and the talks really went smoothly.”
Foster indicated that Roos, who took no signing bonus money in his original rookie contract from the Titans in exchange for a four-year deal with guaranteed base salaries, wanted to remain in Tennessee rather than test the open market as he entered the final year of his rookie deal.
“He is a unique player in that he wanted to go ahead and get a deal done. He probably could have been franchised [after the 2008 season] and financially made a little more if that had been the way we wanted to go, but he wanted to be in Nashville and wanted to get a deal done before the season began.”
Roos was Tennessee’s second-round draft choice in the 2005 draft and immediately stepped in as the team’s starting right tackle as a rookie. The following year, he switched sides of the line and replaced long-time Titans left tackle Brad Hopkins, who was a cap casualty and subsequently retired.
Roos has been extremely durable thus far in his three-year NFL career, starting 48 consecutive games, plus Tennessee’s 17-6 playoff loss to the San Diego Chargers in January.
The former Eastern Washington star is an unlikely NFL success story in that he was born in the former Soviet Republic of Estonia and lived there until he was 10 years old when his family emigrated to the United States.
The Titans have one more member of the offensive line to extend and have been talking with right tackle David Stewart’s agent Bus Cook over the past few weeks regarding a new deal for him. Stewart was given a first-round tender as a restricted free agent.
In other team news, the Titans signed punter Josh Miller to an undisclosed contract. Miller was with the club for part of 2007 while regular punter Craig Hentrich was out with a back injury.
Miller was originally signed on Sept. 22, 2007 and released on Oct. 16.
He punted three times for a 40.3 yard average and a net of 37 yards with a long of 52 yards in his one game active against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.