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Cornerback Darryll Lewis is staying with the Houston Oilers. He

March 9, 1995

HOUSTON (AP) _ Cornerback Darryll Lewis is staying with the Houston Oilers. He signed a new five-year, $8 million contract after turning down offers from Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Arizona.

Lewis, who led the Oilers with five interceptions last season, will get a signing bonus of $1.2 million, a first-year base salary of $800,000. Annual increases would bring the base salary to $1.1 million, $1.3 million, $1.6 million and $2 million.

He earned $398,000 last season.

Oiler general manager Floyd Reese had made signing Lewis a top priority.

``We put our corners in as tough a situation as anybody in the league,″ Reese said. ``Seventy-five percent of the corners in the league couldn’t do what our guys do. That’s one reason we wanted to keep Darryll.″

Lewis decided on Houston Wednesday after visiting with former Oilers defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, now head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

``Buddy brought it to the table, but the Oilers showed they really wanted him,″ Lewis’ agent, Gary Wichard, said Wednesday. ``The Oilers showed today they’re committed to Darryll. They showed what they think of him as a player.″

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