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SPORTS WEEKEND | NFL DAILY REPORT / NFC

Big Deal for Eagles' Thomas

October 27, 2000

After a rocky second season, offensive tackle Tra Thomas bounced back well enough this season to know he wants to remain an Eagle.

"I wanted to play my whole career in Philadelphia," said Thomas, who signed a six-year contract extension Thursday worth $34 million, including an $8-million signing bonus. It keeps him with the team through 2008.

"I didn't want to be a player bouncing around the league," he said. "Once I came here, I fell in love with the city and the fans that are here."

With the deal, Thomas, the team's first-round draft pick in 1998, becomes the highest-paid offensive lineman in Eagle history. Thomas was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2002 season, but the Eagles, with salary cap space remaining this year, locked him up early.

Now the Eagles have nearly $64 million invested in their starting offensive tackles. They signed right tackle Jon Runyan to a six-year, $30.5-million deal last February when Runyan was an unrestricted free agent.

"I know one person who is happy with all of this, and that's Donovan [McNabb, starting quarterback]," Tom Modrak, director of football operations, said.

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Arizona defensive end Andre Wadsworth went through a strenuous practice to improve his chances of playing Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Wadsworth, the third player chosen in the 1998 draft, has yet to play this season while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

"He did more today than he did yesterday," Cardinal interim Coach Dave McGinnis said. "What we're going to do is compare and evaluate the tapes from yesterday to the tapes of today, talk with Andre and see how it is. I think right now it's looking promising."

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