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Roster-Move Roundup: Gore Gets Paid; Copper Re-Signs
This week's NFL Owners meetings in Phoenix didn't yield much player movement. Trent Green is still a Chief and David Carr is still looking for work. So are Corey Dillon, Chris Brown, Kevan Barlow, Antonio Bryant and Keenan McCardell. We did learn that new Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin expects Randy Moss to play in Oakland this year and the Chargers confirmed a handful of teams have inquired about trading for halfback Michael Turner, but they won't say who.

But we do have a little something for you.

A few players re-signed with their old teams and there was a trade of interest. ... Oh yeah. There was also a notable contract extension in San Francisco, where Pro Bowl running back and Fantasy stud Frank Gore was rewarded for a tremendous 2006 season.

News of the new deal began to emanate Tuesday night and 49ers head coach Mike Nolan confirmed the reports on Wednesday during the annual NFL Owners meetings in Phoenix.

"[Gore] agreed (to a contract)," Nolan said. "We identified somebody we want in Frank. He's a young player, and we wanted to extend it."

Gore couldn't have been happier.

"Coach Nolan and the 49ers told me they would take care of me, and they did," Gore told the Sacramento Bee upon arriving at his hotel from a celebratory dinner with agent Drew Rosenhaus in Phoenix, where the deal was hashed out. "They wanted to get a deal done and I'm real happy with it. Now I've got to keep working hard."

Although the Niners have yet to announce the terms, Yahoo! Sports correspondent and regular FSP contributor John Murphy reports that Rosenhaus confirmed the new contract is a four-year deal worth $28 million, including $13.8 in guaranteed money. insider Len Pasquarelli further fleshed out the details, reporting that Gore, who turns 24 years old in May, will receive an initial signing bonus of $6.5 million. The contract will pay Gore $13.862 million in its first two seasons and $18.212 million in the first three years.

Because Gore had one season remaining on his original rookie contract, the four-year extension creates a five-year deal, and the total value over the course of the five seasons is $28.012 million.

Base salaries are $450,000 (for 2007), $2.5 million (2008), $2.5 million (2009), $2.85 million (2010) and $2.9 million (2011). The contract includes a $4.165 million option bonus and roster bonuses of $1.75 million (2009), $1.85 million (2010) and $2 million (2011).

Gore's full base salary of $2.5 million in 2009 is guaranteed.

According to editor Mike Florio, the contract also includes a yearly workout bonus of $100,000.

Pasquarelli went on to suggest the deal is unusual in that it comes after Gore has logged only two seasons in the NFL and despite a history of injuries.

He's right.

But Gore clearly emerged as the team's most effective offensive weapon last season, rushing for 1,695 yards -- third-best in the NFL. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry and caught 61 passes for 485 yards. He rushed for a franchise-record 212 yards in a November 19 win over Seattle.

His 2,180 total yards were nearly 45 percent of the 49ers' offensive production in 2006.

"He had an outstanding year," Nolan said. "For us, it was not a fluke that he had such a good year. It's not like he lucked into it."

As a rookie, however, Gore shared time in the backfield with Barlow and rushed for 608 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. As a result, his two-season totals stand at 2,303 yards and 11 scores on 439 carries in 30 games -- 17 of them starts.

San Francisco Chronicle staffer Kevin Lynch points out that Gore has overcome major obstacles off the field, including severe dyslexia and constant worry over his mother, who has been waiting for a kidney transplant since Gore was in high school in south Florida.

With regard to the injury issues. ... Gore tore the anterior cruciate in each knee during his college career at Miami and needed surgery on each shoulder before last season.

And as previously noted on this site, those health issues made the 49ers wonder if the body of the 5-9, 215-pounder was much older than its 23 years.

But Lynch went on to advise readers that Gore's devotion to the game borders on obsessive. That obsession was appreciated by the offensive linemen, who seem to love blocking for him.

And team officials had to be impressed with the heavy workload Gore handled while appearing in all 16 games last season.

As Lynch noted, running backs get hit on nearly every play and often more than once. That's particularly true of Gore, who's a punishing runner.

It's worth noting, the Niners worried about their ability to retain Gore when he hired Rosenhaus, who reportedly told the team that Gore should be the NFL's highest-paid player. That isn't how it worked out, but the new deal is something both sides seem very happy about.

All involved -- as well as Fantasy owners -- will be even happier if Gore makes good on his desire -- one stated even before he agreed to the new deal -- to rush for more than 2,000 yards in 2007. ...

In a semi-related note. ... According to Murphy, the completion of Gore's deal also means that Rosenhaus Sports has now negotiated $300 million in new contracts this offseason, covering a total of 21 players, and still has Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, who would receive a new deal if traded before the draft.

Murphy adds that Rep1 Sports, the new company started by Bruce and Ryan Tollner, the outfit most recently retained by newly-signed Eagles wideout Kevin Curtis, is running in second place in terms of "new dollars," as they have negotiated over $100 million in new contracts this offseason. ...

In New Orleans. ... The Saints re-signed receiver Terrance Copper to a one-year contract Monday, keeping him in the mix to replace Joe Horn in the starting lineup.

New Orleans Times-Picayune beat man Mike Triplett notes that Copper, who was a restricted free agent after his third NFL season, received some interest from teams around the league. But the Saints would have had an opportunity to match any offer he signed elsewhere.

Copper joined the Saints in the first week of last season after being waived by the Cowboys and he broke through with a career-high 23 receptions for 385 yards and three touchdowns.

Triplett reminded readers that Copper was Horn's primary backup, starting four regular-season games and two playoff games while Horn was sidelined with a groin injury.

He is also a special teams standout, which was his primary role for two years with Dallas.

Copper joins Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Jamal Jones, Lance Moore and Michael Lewis in a young receiving corps.

So far, the Saints have not replaced Horn in free agency, although they have explored such possibilities as Bobby Engram, Brandon Stokley and McCardell. Stokley signed with the Denver Broncos and Engram re-signed with the Seahawks.

According to Triplett, New Orleans could also add a receiver in next month's draft. ...

In Philadelphia. ... The Eagles acquired Pro Bowl linebacker Takeo Spikes and quarterback Kelly Holcomb from the Buffalo Bills on Monday night for defensive tackle Darwin Walker and a conditional draft pick in 2008.

Spikes provides a major boost to what's widely considered a pedestrian linebacking corps while Holcomb, who has made 21 starts over an 11-year career, joins A.J. Feeley on the quarterback depth chart behind Donovan McNabb.

But the acquisition of Holcomb does not mean the backup quarterback job is up for grabs. Head coach Andy Reid said Feeley will be the No. 2 quarterback and Holcomb will be No. 3.

"It's A.J.'s job," Reid said.

Holcomb did not play last season, but completed 155 of 230 passes for 1,509 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2005.

As Associated Press sports writer Dan Gelston noted, Holcomb proved expendable in Buffalo after J.P. Losman won the starting job in training camp following an off-season long three-way competition between Holcomb and third-stringer Craig Nall.

That was a considerable step for Losman, who was twice benched in 2005 in favor of Holcomb.

Losman then showed gradual progress last season, leading the Bills to a better than expected 7-9 finish. Losman showed particular improvement over the last half of the season, when the Bills won four of their last seven games.

That was enough for Bills head coach Dick Jauron to name Losman the starter heading into this year. The Bills have also expressed confidence in Nall taking over the back-up job. ...

In Jacksonville. ... The Jaguars retained two players of interest, re-signing unrestricted free-agent halfback LaBrandon Toefield to a new one-year deal worth $800,000 on Wednesday, a day after fullback Derrick Wimbush, an exclusive-rights free agent, signed his signed his tender offer.

Receiver Ernest Wilford and quarterback Quinn Gray, both restricted free agent, still haven't signed their tender offers. According to the Florida Times-Union, Wilford joined the club Monday for off-season conditioning, so his signing appears to be imminent. ...

Meanwhile, those who follow the Jags closely have expected Toefield, who was said to be eager for an opportunity to join a team with a greater need at tailback, to move on.

With Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew locked in as the top-two -- and Greg Jones' recovery from a torn ACL on track -- it's hard to imagine Toefield getting a legitimate shot at making an offensive contribution in Jacksonville.

But according to Pasquarelli, the Jaguars' coaching staff wanted Toefield back and the four-year veteran did not find another offer to his liking, so he opted to return, with the knowledge that he can go back into the free-agent market again next spring.

Toefield actually rejected a multi-year proposal from the Jaguars in favor of the one-year deal.

Toefield will receive a $200,000 signing bonus and a base salary of $600,000. He can earn as much as $300,000 in incentives based principally on rushing yards.

Wimbush, who played on special team and got six starts last year, is mainly a blocker who got just one carry for three yards last year. ...

In Houston. ... As expected Monday, the Texans matched the offer sheet that the New York Giants extended to Vonta Leach, keeping the restricted free-agent fullback in Houston for another season.

Though Leach was signed as a street free agent after being released from the Packers last September, he quickly proved his worth to the Texans, especially during the last month of the season.

Many have attributed Houston’s success in the run game late last season to be a direct result of Leach’s blocking for Ron Dayne.

Texans offensive coordinator Mike Sherman is in that group and believes that Leach earned a spot on the roster this year with his performance in December last season. ...

If nothing else, Leach's return adds some continuity to a backfield in flux with new additions Matt Schaub and Ahman Green.

The Texans also re-signed halfback Chris Taylor and quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt, both exclusive rights free agents, on Tuesday.

Taylor was signed by the Texans last May as an undrafted free agent from Indiana. He was moved to the active roster early in December and played in the final four games, totaling 123 rushing yards on 28 carries. He carried the bulk of the load in the season finale against Cleveland where he rushed for a season-high 99 yards on 20 carries and his first career touchdown.

Van Pelt was signed by the Texans last November when Sage Rosenfels was placed on injured reserve late in the season. Van Pelt dressed for the last five games of the year, but did not see the playing field. ...

There you have it for tonight. Although the pace of these moves has clearly tailed off, we still have some name players out there -- as noted above. So, stay tuned. I'll continue to post more in the Roster-Move Roundup series as developments warrant.

In the meantime, you'll find breaking items in the News & Views section of the site with more in-depth reviews of top stories available here in the Headline News section, where you'll also find the weekly Fantasy Notebook each Sunday during the offseason.