INDIANAPOLIS Bob Sanders' big hits have finally paid off in a big way.
The two-time Pro Bowler signed a five-year contract extension Friday, a deal that will keep him with the Indianapolis Colts through 2012 and makes him one of the league's highest-paid safeties.
The deal is worth $37.5 million and includes $20 million in guarantees, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced.
Sanders' average salary of $7.5 million under the extension is nearly $1 million more than what Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu got in his new deal in July, and the guaranteed money is more than what Ed Reed got when he signed an extension with the Ravens in June 2006.
Colts spokesman Craig Kelley said the team would not confirm the deal, but Sanders told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he had signed the deal Friday.
His contract was to expire after this season.
"I got a call late in the evening yesterday from my agent, and he said he was hoping to get it done," Sanders said. "I'm excited, very excited about it knowing they want me around here makes me happy."
SINGLETARY INTERESTED: Mike Singletary would not elaborate Friday on his interest in pursuing the Atlanta Falcons head coach position for a second straight year. One year ago, Singletary the San Francisco 49ers' assistant head coach was a finalist in the Falcons' coach search. The Falcons instead hired Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, who this year quit after only 13 games to take the job at Arkansas. Singletary said this week he would "absolutely" have interest in the Atlanta job, but on Friday he relayed word through 49ers spokesman Aaron Salkin that he "did not want to address Atlanta at this time." "He says his mind is focused only on beating Cleveland," Salkin said, referring to San Francisco's final game Sunday.
BRONCOS' SMITH HAS SURGERY: Rod Smith needs another operation on his surgically repaired left hip, and his NFL career could be over.
The Denver Broncos co-captain revealed Friday he needs another surgery. There's a strong possibility he'll require an artificial hip replacement, which almost certainly would end his 13-year NFL career.
"It's hard. Because, honestly, it could be the end of my career. It could be my last game as a professional athlete. My last game with the Denver Broncos could be this Sunday," said Smith, who has been out all season.
Smith had been getting treatment at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo., where he had a microfracture hip operation in February.
BUSH OUT: Reggie Bush is out for the Saints' game Sunday at Chicago, the scene of his end-zone somersault in last season's NFC championship game. Bush sat out practice on Friday, and the Saints listed him as out for their regular season finale. Aaron Stecker, who started for Bush during the Saints' past three games, also has missed practice this week. To take the final wild-card berth in the NFC, New Orleans (7-8) must win in Chicago, and have both Minnesota (8-7) and Washington (8-7) lose later in the day.
CHARGERS SIGN RAYNER: Dave Rayner signed with the San Diego Chargers on Friday to handle kickoffs in place of ailing Nate Kaeding in Sunday's game at Oakland. Veteran left tackle Roman Oben was waived to clear a roster spot. Kaeding hurt his lower left leg helping to make a tackle on a kickoff in Monday night's win over Denver. He was limited in practice Friday but is expected to handle extra-point and field-goal attempts for the AFC West champion Chargers, who are trying to wrap up the No. 3 playoff seed. Rayner tried out along with three other kickers on Thursday. He was waived by Kansas City last month and previously played in Indianapolis and Green Bay.
WEINKE TO START FOR NINERS: Chris Weinke will be the 49ers' fourth starting quarterback this season when he replaces the injured Shaun Hill at Cleveland on Sunday. Weinke, the former Heisman Trophy winner and Carolina quarterback, signed with the 49ers (5-10) just two weeks ago. He will follow Alex Smith, Trent Dilfer and Hill, who won his first two NFL starts in the last two weeks, as the starting quarterback for San Francisco this season. Hill, the sixth-year pro who hadn't thrown an NFL pass until this month, will miss San Francisco's season finale with back spasms caused by three small fractures incurred from a hard hit in last week's victory over Tampa Bay. Dilfer is out for the season with a concussion, and Smith is on injured reserve with a separated shoulder.
TEXANS' JOHNSON FINED: The NFL fined Texans defensive tackle Travis Johnson $5,000 for a late hit on Colts tight end Bryan Fletcher during Sunday's loss to Indianapolis. The unnecessary roughness penalty was the second of the game for Johnson, who was earlier flagged for a late hit on Peyton Manning after the quarterback was sacked by Mario Williams. The NFL confirmed the fine Friday.
OWENS INACTIVE FOR 'SKINS: Wide receiver Terrell Owens and cornerback Terence Newman were among four Dallas starters declared inactive Friday for the Cowboys' regular-season finale at Washington. Backup safety Patrick Watkins (ankle) will also sit out Sunday for Cowboys, who have clinched home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. Wide receiver Terry Glenn, whose has missed every game this season with a right knee injury, was listed as probable.
OFFICIAL FINED $8,150: The NFL has fined official Jim Quirk one game check for inappropriate physical contact with players, including Green Bay Packers linebacker Nick Barnett. The fine totals $8,150, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Friday. The decision came after Quirk grabbed Barnett by the neck and threw him to the ground while breaking up a scuffle during the Packers' loss at Chicago on Sunday. "It made my day the minute they began to address it," Barnett's agent, Chuck Price said Friday. Ray Anderson, NFL executive vice president of football operations, issued the fine to Quirk, who can appeal it to commissioner Roger Goodell.