Hartwell's six-year contract totals $24.25 million and includes an $8 million signing bonus. There are additional base salary guarantees in the first three seasons of the contract. The deal will pay Hartwell $10 million in its first two years and $13.25 million over the first three seasons.
In the end, Hartwell chose the Falcons over the Kansas City Chiefs
. Seattle had been in the chase for him as well but, over the past few days, dropped out of the bidding. Agent Harold Lewis negotiated extensively with officials from Atlanta and Kansas City over the weekend and the deal came together when the Falcons raised their offer from $4 million per year, a number on which they had been stuck for days.
A number of Atlanta officials -- including owner Arthur Blank and head coach Jim Mora and defensive coordinator Ed Donatell -- lobbied Hartwell hard the past few days.