Bob Sanders' big hits have finally paid off in a big way.

The two-time Pro Bowler signed a 5-year contract extension yesterday, 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.


* Two local TV stations have resolved their dispute with the NFL Network over tonight's broadcast of the potentially historic Patriots-Giants game. WCVB in Boston and Manchester, N.H., station WMUR, which are owned by the same company, and New York station WWOR had won bidding processes for the right to simulcast NFL Network games involving local teams.

The Patriots would become the first team in NFL history to go 16-0 in the regular season if they beat the Giants. Outside of the Boston and New York areas, the game was originally scheduled to be broadcast only on the NFL Network, which is available in fewer than 40 percent of the nation's homes with televisions.

On Wednesday, the NFL announced the matchup would also be aired on CBS and NBC.

* Terrell Owens and cornerback Terence Newman were declared inactive for the Cowboys' regular-season finale at Washington.

* Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison will likely start tomorrow night against the Titans after practicing a second day in a return from a left knee injury that has sidelined him most of the season.

* The NFL has fined official Jim Quirk one game check for inappropriate physical contact with players, including Packers linebacker Nick Barnett. The fine totals $8,150, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

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.

* Nearly all of the NFL's former drug testing agents filed a federal lawsuit, saying they were fired and effectively blacklisted because of a labor dispute.

The drug testers - most of whom were retired FBI and DEA agents - were replaced en masse this year after the league decided to outsource the job of collecting player urine samples to an independent company, Comprehensive Drug Testing, of Long Beach, Calif.

* 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.

* Broncos receiver Rod Smith revealed that his surgically repaired left hip hurts more than ever and that a specialist in Los Angeles will resurface or replace the joint in January. *