Tommy aids Tommie: Harris’ case for huge deal bolstered

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Players like nothing more than for other players to get paid.

Theyre smart guys, you see, and they know the trickle down effect of one guy hitting the jackpot will eventually reach them.

Somewhere, Tommie Harris probably felt more of a waterfall than a trickle.

Thats because the Oakland Raiders made defensive tackle Tommy Kelly rich beyond his wildest imaginations on Thursday. Kelly, who played end previously for the Raiders, signed a $50.5 million, seven year contract on the eve of free agency. The deal brokered by agent Gary Wichard contains $18.125 million in guarantees and he will pocket a cool $25.125 million in the first three years.

Kelly is now the highest-paid defensive tackle in the history of the game.

Yes, that groan you just heard was coming all way from Halas Hall in Lake Forest with the knowledge Harris and his representative Drew Rosenhaus are going to be saying Tommy Who?

Kelly surpasses the $47.5 million deal that Detroit inked Cory Redding to last summer.

Why do I get the distinct feeling Harris will be sticking more and more to his desire to get a contract in the realm of what end Dwight Freeney received from the Indianapolis Colts. He pulled in a $72 million, six-year deal that included $37.72 million in the first three years.

Harris is shooting for an even $40 million over the first three years. Kelly might help him get there.

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