ENGLEWOOD, Colo.-The Denver Broncos have signed kicker Jason Elam to a new five-year contract, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced Tuesday. Prior to the 2002 season Elam signed a one-year franchise tender sheet after having received the team's franchise tag.
"We felt very confident throughout this process that we would eventually come to an agreement on a new contract for Jason," General Manager Ted Sundquist said. "As long as we continued to work together to find a common ground for Jason and for the Denver Broncos, I believed it would get done. Jason's production speaks for itself, and we wanted to be able to fairly compensate him, while also being mindful of the challenges of putting together an entire roster."
Elam, 32, has established himself as one of the elite kickers in the National Football League as he enters his 11th professional season. In 2002, Elam converted 26 of 36 field goal attempts (.722) and 42 of 43 (.976) point after attempts. He accounted for a team-leading 120 points, his 10th consecutive season with 100 or more points. In addition, he ranked second in the AFC in scoring by kickers (7th in the NFL); tied for second (T7th in the NFL) in field goals; and his 55-yard field goal against Miami was the second longest in the NFL in 2002.
"Jason has been a valuable member of this team with his consistent and clutch kicking over the last 10 years," Sundquist added. "We're very happy that he will continue to play a key role in our plans to put together a championship team."
Elam, selected by the Broncos in the third-round (70th selection overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft out of Hawaii, has hit 261 of 333 (.784) career field goals, including a long of 63 yards, matching the NFL record set by New Orleans' Tom Dempsey. He holds the NFL record for consecutive PATs (371), a streak that ended against Indianapolis on Nov. 24, and has made 410 of 412 (.995) in his career, the highest career percentage for PATs in NFL history. Elam also ranks fifth among active NFL kickers since 1993 on kicks inside 40 yards, connecting on 176 of 189 (.931), and leads the NFL in that same time period in total points scored (1,193), while ranking first in total field goals since 1993 (261).
With 1,193 career points, Elam is one of just 26 players in NFL history to pass the 1,100-point plateau. He accomplished the feat in just his 145th career game, becoming the second fastest to reach that plateau in NFL history behind former Boston Patriots kicker Gino Cappelletti (140 games).