Albany, N.Y. Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne signed a five-year, $7.14 million contract with the New York Giants on Friday, opting not to haggle over money so he could report to training camp on time.
The former Wisconsin halfback got a $4.5 million signing bonus, but the total value of the deal was less than the $8.175 million package signed by defensive end Shaun Ellis, who was drafted No. 12 by the New York Jets. Dayne was the 11th pick overall.
"After a while, I just said no matter what it is I want to do it," Dayne said after attending the opening meeting at training camp. "I didn't feel like going through it and starting off on the wrong foot with the media."
Dayne, college football's career rushing leader with 6,397 yards, got off to a bad start last month, missing a mandatory league-sponsored rookie conference aimed at teaching life skills to new players.
He still faces a possible $10,000 league fine.
Dayne gives the Giants a power runner for a team that averaged only 88.1 yards rushing and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. It was the first time the Giants averaged less than 100 yards in a non-strike season since 1953.