Bucs, B.J. Askew agree to four-year extension
Even while things remain at a standstill with Jeff Garcia's and Earnest Graham's contract negotiations, the Bucs have locked up fullback B.J. Askew by signing him to a 4-year contract extension today.
His agent, Scott Smith of XAM Sports, just confirmed the news to us. Askew is believed to have signed a package that includes a total of $8.6-million, including a signing bonus of $2-million.
Askew (left), 27, was one of several young players the Bucs approached about contract extensions earlier this year, so there could be more to come. He was entering the final year of a two-year deal he signed with the Bucs last summer.
The move shows a continued commitment to the running game given Askew's impressive performance as a lead blocker in 2007. He also proved proficient as a receiver out of the backfield, catching 18 passes for 175 yards.
Staying in Tampa long term was Askew's hope, and the new deal makes that possible.
"The goal was to find a home in Tampa, and he's thrilled that it worked out," Smith said. "And he feels like his style of play is appreciated in Tampa."
You might recall that Askew played much of the latter half of the season with a severely sprained ankle that caused him to miss three games. Playing through the injury before being coaxed into resting it went a long toward gaining the trust of coaches and teammates.
"His toughness earned him some respect," Smith added. "Showing that kind of toughness does make a statement."
[Brian Cassella, Times files]