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Bucs Exercise Option on Dilfer

December 12, 1997

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ The Tampa Bay Buccaneers exercised an option to keep Pro Bowl quarterback Trent Dilfer through 2001, the team said Thursday.

Dilfer’s original contract, signed in 1994, was scheduled to run through 2001, but included a provision allowing Dilfer to void the last four years if he reached certain incentives.

It also allowed Tampa Bay to buy back those four years before they were voided, which the team did Thursday.

Dilfer, in his fourth season, has guided the Bucs to their first winning season since 1982 and first playoff berth in 15 years. So far this year, he has thrown 20 touchdown passes, one shy of a team record.

``We feel it is an important step for this franchise to have the quarterback position settled well into the future,″ said Tampa Bay General Manager Rich McKay.

Dilfer will get a $4.8 million signing bonus with the buy-out. He will make $1.7 million next season, not counting the bonus, and $1.9 million in 1999.

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