Doleman may be richest defender

July 27, 1991

Defensive end Chris Doleman may have become the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL when he signed a new contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

Terms of the deal were not revealed. But the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Doleman signed a five-year contract estimated at $2 million a year. The Star Tribune of Minneapolis quoted a source who said the contract was for four years at about $1.7 million a year.

If either of those figures is correct, the deal would make Doleman the NFL's highest-paid defensive player.

Two defensive ends, Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills and Reggie White of the Philadelphia Eagles, each make about $1.6 million a season. Linebacker Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants averages $1.55 million.

Also, quarterback Rich Gannon, who started 12 games last year after Wade Wilson was injured, signed a one-year deal and reported to camp.

* STEELERS: Offensive guard Terry Long was distraught about an impending suspension for flunking a steroids test and over possibly losing his starting job before his apparent suicide attempt, according to several teammates.

Long -- one of the NFL's strongest players -- was in Allegheny General Hospital under a different name yesterday, two days after he reportedly tried twice to take his life.

Not only was Long worried about the steroids test -- under NFL rules, he would miss two weeks of practice and a month of the regular season -- he also was concerned about being beaten out by Carlton Haselrig, a 12th-round draft choice in 1989.

According to sources familiar with the incident, Long, 32, started a car in a closed garage at his home in Franklin Park on Wednesday when the Steelers were practicing with the Washington Redskins. Long did not make the trip to Carlisle, Pa., because of his hamstring injury.

When Long's girlfriend, whose name was not available, found him and called for help, Long went to another part of the house and swallowed rat poison, several sources said.

* JETS: General manager Dick Steinberg and coach Bruce Coslet denied reports yesterday that the club is shopping two-time Pro Bowl free safety Erik McMillan.

A report said the Jets offered McMillan to the Falcons in a failed bid to acquire nose tackle Tony Casillas, who was traded recently to the Cowboys. Casillas "quit" the Falcons last week, forcing a trade to Dallas.

Steinberg and Coslet also denied that McMillan has been offered as trade bait around the NFL for players such as Chargers Pro Bowl defensive lineman Lee Williams, another player the Jets covet.

"We have not shopped him around," Coslet said of McMillan.

* CARDINALS: The team's last two holdouts, linebacker Freddie Joe Nunn and cornerback Aeneas Williams, have agreed to terms.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.