Now we can worry about football and worry about getting better and going out there this year and being successful and I think that's what we all want.
Did this happen because you signed the original contract as a back-up?
Yeah. I think it's obviously a very unique situation. I think it's one that everybody realized that it was unique and then obviously with them drafting Ben this year it became even more unique. So I appreciate and thank the Rooneys and this organization for doing what they said they would do and I'm excited about being here. I've always said that I love playing for this organization. I can't wait to continue that. The thing with me, I've moved around a lot in my career and been through a lot of the highs and lows and it's exciting for me to think that this is probably where I'm going to end my career.
How important was it to get it done before training camp?
Very important. I didn't have too many demands or whatever, but one of the things that I wanted to really get done was to try to get it done before we broke for the next five weeks before camp started. As much as you try not to worry about it, it's still there. It's still something you have to answer and talk about. It relieves a lot of that and now you can take these next six weeks and think about nothing and prepare for nothing but the season ahead and getting ready for that.
Was any of it a burden last season?
I would like to sit here and say it wasn't but I don't know if you can help it not being some of a burden because of the amount of attention that it got, the amount of questions that you have to answer, whether it be from you guys or whether it be in a grocery store or at the gas station. There's always somebody bringing it up a little bit. It's always kind of there. To not have that feels pretty good.
Is this what you were looking for last year?
I said all along, and it's hard to say it, especially in sports today, when you're talking about the amount of money we make whether it's low end, high end, whatever, it's hard to say it's not about the money because obviously money plays a part in it. I won't lie to you and say it wasn't. To me, that wasn't the big factor in it. The big factor in it for me was feeling like I signed the deal as a back-up, then I was starting and had started and had some success. That was probably the bigger deal to me than it was the money, so yeah I'm very satisfied with how it worked out. Again, I appreciate the organization doing it when they didn't have to do it. It's one of those deals where it is a unique situation. I was under contract for a few more years and it's something they could've sat there and said 'we're not going to do anything.' But I think that both sides are very happy with the way it turned out.
Is it structured in a way that in a couple years, if Ben wins the job, you could stay for adequate back-up money?
Yeah. It's structured fairly for both sides I think. If I continue to play, I'll continue to make pretty good money, and if not I'll make pretty good money and be fair for them if I stay here. So I think it's a contract both sides are very happy with and I'm very happy with. The one thing that's probably the hardest for me is I'm a competitor and I'm going to compete and play as long as I can play. Y'all all have this plan and at some point it's going to come to fruition, and I'm going to go in there and play as hard as I can and compete as long as I can and see what happens.
Did other similar player's contracts factor into these negotiations?
Not really. I have always been a guy that, to be quite honest, is not concerned with what other guys are getting or what other guys think they deserve or any of that. It goes back to me truly meaning it wasn't all about money and seeing how much I could get, it was about feeling like the right thing was done. So you know guys sign contracts and I'm happy for them and I'm very excited about today.
Did this fit the timetable you expected?
It really did. After the draft they talked to me and said they would start to work on something and try to sign something as close to June 1st as we could and so a week after that, it's pretty good. Really my biggest concern is I didn't want to leave after this week and go home for a few weeks and have this lingering on.
When did the talks start up?
It probably didn't start up until after the draft this year.
When they took Ben, did you think this would never happen?
No. Not really. I didn't know what was going to happen but after I had talks with them I felt pretty good something was going to happen.