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Thursday, May 16
Seahawks sign kicker Graham to two-year deal

By Len Pasquarelli

Seattle Seahawks kicker Rian Lindell, whose field goal conversion rate in 2001 was the third lowest in the league, will have some competition in training camp.

The Seahawks have signed former Virginia Tech star Shayne Graham, who kicked for the Buffalo Bills in the final six contests of the 2001 season, to a two-year contract. Graham, 24, is scheduled to earn base salaries of $300,000 for 2002 and $375,000 for 2003, the NFL minimums for a player of his tenure.

There was no signing bonus with the contract but Graham can earn an additional $5,040 this summer in a workout bonus.

Graham replaced Jake Arians in Buffalo for the final month and a half of last season and he converted six of eight field goal attempts and all seven extra point tries, for 25 points. His longest field goal conversion was from 41 yards.

The Bills earlier this spring signed seven-year pro Mike Hollis, formerly of Jacksonville, to be their kicker in 2002. They released Graham on April 23.

The all-time leading scorer in Big East history and an all-conference selection for four straight seasons, Graham originally signed with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent in 2000. He was waived, spent the 2001 training camp with the Seahawks but was again released, then signed with the Bills in late November last year.

Lindell is a two-year veteran who was the NFL's most accurate rookie kicker in 2000, when he connected on 15 of 17 field goal attempts. But he converted only 20 of 32 tries in 2001 and his .625 success rate topped just Arians (.571) and Cincinnati's Neil Rackers (.607) among kickers with at least 20 attempts.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

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