DallasCowboys.com wrote:IRVING, Texas - The Cowboys have signed their second unrestricted free agent in the last three days, locking up linebacker Akin Ayodele to a five-year contract Monday afternoon.
Ayodele, an Irving, Texas native and former Cowboys ball boy, spent the last four years in Jacksonville and should be an ideal fit at outside linebacker, opposite DeMarcus Ware.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
A former defensive end at Purdue, Ayodele (6-2, 246) has registered at least 100 tackles in all four pro seasons, including 150 in 2003. The outside linebacker has 8 ½ career sacks and eight forced fumbles.
Along with 100 tackles and 2 ½ sacks, Ayodele started 11 games in 2005, but has not missed a game in his career, playing in 64 consecutive games.
He will likely start on the left side, or strong side of the defense. The Cowboys had Al Singleton starting in that spot last year before he suffered a broken clavicle in mid-season and spent the last eight weeks on injured reserve.
The Cowboys had considered re-signing Scott Fujita, who started the last eight game of the season, recording 58 tackles and sacks.
Last season, the Cowboys placed five different linebackers on IR, starting with Kalen Thornton (knee) just before the start of the regular season. Singleton and Dat Nguyen (neck), who is expected to officially announce his retirement in the near future, both went to IR in mid-season, while Mike Barrow (knee) and Kevin Burnett (knee) both went to injured reserve in the last week of the season.
Ayodele is the third player signed by the Cowboys since free-agency began Friday night, and the second unrestricted free agent to sign. The club gave former Detroit guard Kyle Kosier a five-year, $15 million deal on Saturday, just before re-signing guard/center Andre Gurode to a one-year deal.
Thank God we finally got in the FA hunt. Ayodele will make a great replacement at our young, up-and-coming LB corps. Good signing...
Cowboys | Contract update: A. Ayodele
Mon, 13 Mar 2006 14:07:14 -0800
Adam Schefter, of the NFL Network, reports Dallas Cowboys LB Akin Ayodele signed a five-year, $17 million contract that included a $5 million signing bonus to join the Cowboys.