NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee defensive lineman Jurrell Casey came to work this year focusing on football, and he let his agent Drew Rosenhaus work with the Titans in agreeing to a new contract.
They finally reached a deal Wednesday on a contract extension multiple media outlets say is for $36 million over four years, with $20.5 million guaranteed. Rosenhaus tweeted out a photo with Casey and the lineman's mother preparing to sign the contract.
''We are excited to come to an agreement on an extension with Jurrell,'' Titans general manager Ruston Webster said in a statement. ''This is something Jurrell has earned not only with his play on the field but his work ethic as well. We appreciate Jurrell's professionalism through this process and look forward to many good years to come.''
A third-round draft pick out of USC in 2011, Casey had one year remaining on his rookie contract. But he is coming off a career year with 10 1/2 sacks, 90 tackles and 10 quarterback pressures. His sacks were the second-highest total in franchise history for a defensive tackle behind only Ray Childress' 13 sacks in 1992.
But the Titans hired Ken Whisenhunt as a new coach in January, and he brought in Ray Horton as coordinator to change the defense from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4. Casey talked with the new defensive line coach Giff Smith and was reassured the Titans still will allow him to attack one gap in chasing quarterbacks.
So the lineman reported for work and did not miss a day. Casey said early in training camp that he would love to get an extension before the season started Sept. 7 at Kansas City and know he's with the Titans for the long haul. He wasn't worried about getting hurt and preferred to show up and learn the new defense.
''I know my abilities out there, I know I'm capable of getting the job done,'' Casey said then. ''So every day I go out there and prove it to them. I don't need to sit out. Sitting out and focusing on something that don't got anything to do with football doesn't matter. It's the business side of the game, and I'm not part of the business side. I'm all into coming out here and playing ball.''
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