Steelers' Bettis: 'Another opportunity'

March 2, 2004 at 9:58 AM
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PITTSBURGH, March 2 (UPI) -- Running back Jerome Bettis, the NFL's sixth all-time leading rusher, will stay with the Pittsburgh Steelers at least one more year -- with a big cut in pay.

Bettis and the Steelers agreed Monday to a one-year adjusted contract that will pay him $1 million instead of the

$3.75 million he was to have made in his original contract.

It had been expected that the 32-year-old Bettis, who has been troubled by groin and knee injuries, would have to take a pay cut to remain with the team. He has rushed for less than 1,000 yards the past two seasons and in 2003 lost his starting job for six games.

After ageeing to the adjusted contract, Bettis said, "I get an opportunity to look at retiring as a Pittsburgh Steeler. "Not to say this is my last year, but it gives me another opportunity."

Bettis has 12,353 rushing yards in his NFL career -- 9,262 with the Steelers.

Only Emmitt Smith, the late Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson and Tony Dorsett are ahead of Bettis on the all-time NFL rushing list.

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