http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2332721

Updated: Feb. 16, 2006, 7:39 PM ET


Titans agree to extension with Vanden Bosch

By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com


Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who resurrected his flagging career in 2005 and was rewarded with a trip to the Pro Bowl last week, has agreed to a new deal with the Tennessee Titans that will keep the five-year veteran off the unrestricted free agent market.

The two sides earlier in the week agreed to many of the most significant elements of a four-year extension, and then on Thursday finished hammering our final details. The hope now is to execute the contract by the end of the week. Titans officials reiterated at the end of the '05 season that retaining Vanden Bosch was a priority and contract negotiations were ramped up in the past week.

Published reports indicated that Vanden Bosch, whose 12 sacks last season ranked fourth in the league, could receive $15 million in guarantees as part of the extension. ESPN.com has been unable, however, to independently confirm that number.

While flattered by the potential interest he could receive in free agency, Vanden Bosch said his priority was to remain with the Titans if he deemed their contract offer amenable.

"I'm a Midwest kind of guy and, even though [Nashville] is in the South, there's a Midwest kind of feel to it," Vanden Bosch said. "My family is comfortable there. We like the team, the players and the coaches. So it would be great for everybody if this [contract] would work out. I think we're pretty close."

Arguably the NFL's best bargain in free agency last spring, Vanden Bosch signed a one-year contract with the Titans for a base salary of $540,000, the league minimum for a player with four years accrued toward the pension plan. Vanden Bosch, 27, was coming off a four-year stint with the Arizona Cardinals in which he missed nearly two full seasons because of anterior cruciate tears to both knees.

It was obvious in training camp last summer that Vanden Bosch, a former second-round draft pick, could help the young Tennessee defensive line, but not even Titans coaches expected him to have the kind of season he posted. In addition to his strong play on the field, Vanden Bosch quickly became an acknowledged leader in the locker room and he was a strong role model for the team's young ends.

Vanden Bosch was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad when Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor bowed out of the all-star contest with an injury, and he had a terrific all-around performance. Vanden Bosch registered three tackles, two sacks, two additional quarterback pressures and one special teams tackle, and garnered some consideration for most valuable player honors.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was also used in this report. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.