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Clabo deal not 'crazy money'

We speculated in this space the bidding would get wild on the free-agent market for Atlanta right tackle Tyson Clabo. We were wrong.

Make no mistake, Clabo agreed to a good contract with the Falcons Thursday night. He OK'd a five-year, $25 million deal that could rise to $27 million, according to ESPN's John Clayton. That's real money. But that deal doesn't make him close to the top-paid right tackle in the game. Miami's Vernon Carey is playing on a deal worth $42 million over seven years. Tennessee's David Stewart is playing on a deal that pays $39 million over six years. ... And the Bills paid Langston Walker $25 million over five years way back, four years ago in 2007.

Clabo himself said the Bills were in the running for his services. Conclusion: For whatever reason, right or wrong, the Bills were not "overheated" about siging Clabo. Clabo had been waiting for this chance at free agency. He was in Donte Whitner's situation - he would have been a free agent last year, but the rules changes in the uncapped year forced him to be a restricted free agent in 2010 and remain tied to the Falcons. So if another team had blown away Atlanta's bid it should have been able to sign him. The Bills, it turns out, didn't want Clabo as badly as some fans wanted him.

---Mark Gaughan




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