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Bills to pay Moorman as top punter

In six years with the Buffalo Bills, Brian Moorman has become one of the best punters in the NFL. Now he's about to be paid accordingly.

The two-time All-Pro signed a three-year contract extension Monday that will keep him in a Bills uniform through 2012. The final three years on his previous contract were restructured.

Moorman's agent, Paul R. Sheehy, would not reveal exact financial terms, but said the overall dollar value of the package will make Moorman the league's highest-paid punter.

The five-year, $8.5 million deals Dallas' Mat McBriar and Carolina's Jason Baker received this offseason were believed to be the richest among punters. Moorman is expected to make at least $10 million over the life of his contract.

"Some people might say I'm crazy because this is such a hard place to kick," Moorman said. "But this is what I've wanted. I can't say enough about the organization and the coaching staff. Their confidence in me breeds more confidence in myself and I think it will help me continue to produce on the field. I just want to get better and build on what I've done so far."

Moorman, 31, sought a long-term extension in hopes of spending the rest of his career with the Bills, who signed him as a free agent out of NFL Europe prior to the 2001 season.

Bills General Manager Marv Levy and head coach Dick Jauron are on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Moorman was named first-team All-Pro and made his second straight Pro Bowl last season after ranking second in the NFL with a 39.2-yard net average, the fifth-best total since net punting became a statistic in 1976. His team-record 33 punts inside the 20-yard line was second in the league. He's also the Bills' career leader with a 43.47-yard gross average.

"This contract reflects what Brian has done on the field and where he compared in a rising punter market," Sheehy said. "It has been a few months in the works. We appreciate the Bills' willingness to do this since he had three years left on that contract. Without [Bills Vice President of Football Administration and contract negotiator] Jim Overdorf's time and creativity it wouldn't have happened."

Moorman also wanted to stay here because he and his wife, Amber, are committed to local charities such as his PUNT Foundation, which supports numerous pediatric cancer research, treatment and social programs.

He works closely with Buffalo's Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Carly's Club, the hospital's family-centered support group for patients.

"It excites me that we can be a part of Buffalo and Western New York for a long time to come," said Moorman, a fan favorite who earned Pro Football Weekly's Arthur S. Arkush Humanitarian Award in 2005.


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