Texans' top pick Okoye agrees to deal hours before start of camp Print
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Friday, 27 July 2007 09:22
NFL Headline News

 HOUSTON (AP) -Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the youngest player taken in the first round since the AFL-NFL merger in 1967, signed a $17.6 million deal with the Houston Texans and was on the field Friday for the first day of training camp.
Okoye, who was 19 on draft day and turned 20 last month, agreed to a six-year deal that can be voided after five years under certain conditions.
``It was good,'' said Okoye, the 10th pick in the draft. ``I want to be out here with my teammates. I want to be out here the very first day and start this thing off right.''
Agent Darin Morgan said the total package included $12.785 million guaranteed. That money and Okoye's salary for the first five years add up to $15.4 million, Morgan said, with clauses based on playing time that could earn Okoye another $2.2 million.
Okoye stressed to his agents that he didn't want to miss any time, but said he got a bit concerned as the start of camp approached.
``With things like that, you can't sit there and say you weren't worried,'' he said. ``I was worried. I knew they knew that I wanted to get it done before the time came around.''
Coach Gary Kubiak said it was a relief the contract was done.
``That was very important,'' he said. ``That's hard to do. There's so much negotiating going on and so much paperwork. They put in a lot of time to get that done and it paid off to get him here today.''
The 6-foot-1, 300-pound Okoye joins a defense that includes last year's No. 1 pick, Mario Williams, and the NFL defensive rookie of the year, linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
``The most important thing is to get the defensive rookie of the year,'' Okoye said. ``Keep it over here in Houston.''
Kubiak isn't looking for anything in particular from Okoye early in camp. Instead he hopes to see him get comfortable with the defense and with being in the NFL.
``I just want to see him hop in there and act like he's not a rookie,'' Kubiak said. ``He's done that. He's a very mature kid and I just want him to get in there and take off and act like he's been here before.''
Also Friday, the Texans signed veteran receiver Keenan McCardell, an unrestricted free agent who was released by San Diego. He was the Chargers' fourth-leading receiver last season with 36 catches for 437 yards and no touchdowns, but has 11,117 career yards and 62 touchdowns.
The 37-year-old said he chose the Texans over Washington because he wanted to play in his hometown.
``I'm just happy to be back here and the city is what brings me back and I know this city deserves a winner,'' he said.
 

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