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New deal for Piller

March 4, 2003 at 1:25 PM   |   Comments

NASHVILLE, March 4 (UPI) -- Zach Piller became the latest free agent guard to cash in this offseason, signing a seven-year contract worth $21.2 million with the Tennessee Titans.

His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Piller got a $4 million signing bonus, and the Nashville Tennesseean reported that Piller re-signed with the Titans after rejecting an offer from Washington. In college, Piller played for Redskins Coach Steve Spurrier.

"Free agency is a scary thing," Piller told the paper. "I'm glad it's over. I'm glad I am here."

Big money for offensive linemen normally is reserved for tackles in the free agent market, but the Washington Redskins set the bar high for guards when they signed free agent Randy Thomas, a four-year starter with the New York Jets but never a Pro Bowler, to a seven-year deal worth $28 million with a $7 million signing bonus.

Piller, a 6-5, 315-pounder, turns 27 in May. He did not become a full-time starter for Tennessee until 2001, but is the team's best run-blocking lineman.

"Re-signing Zach was one of our top priorities this offseason," said Titans General Manager Floyd Reese. "He is a big strong presence in the middle of the line, and we feel very fortunate to have Piller and (Benji) Olson locked up at the two guard positions. As two young and improving players, they will anchor the middle of our offensive line for many years to come."

"I've definitely matured," Piller said. "I have the confidence to be a leader on this team."

Piller was chosen by the Titans in the third round, 81st overall, of the 1999 NFL Draft.

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