Lions, Sanders reportedly reach deal to end holdout

August 11, 1991

Running back Barry Sanders, who led the NFL in rushing yardage last season, has agreed to terms with the Detroit Lions and will end his holdout, according to a broadcast report yesterday.

No announcement has been made by either the team or Sanders' agents, but a WWJ-AM report in Detroit quoted unidentified sources saying that a deal had been made and that Sanders could be back with the Lions as early as next week.

"I can't confirm that at this time," team spokesman Bill Keenist said.

Lions general manager Chuck Schmidt was unavailable for comment yesterday afternoon. He was en route to Buffalo, N.Y., for the Lions' game against the Bills, Keenist said.

Sanders signed a five-year, $5.9 million contract in 1989, but his agents and the Lions agreed in January that his performance warranted more. Because the team has a long-standing policy of not renegotiating contracts, a new deal likely would include a contract extension and possibly a signing bonus.

Sanders, a first-round draft pick in 1989 out of Oklahoma State, ran for 1,304 yards in 1990.

* TELEVISION: NBC Sports commentator Paul Maguire suffered a heart attack yesterday morning and was rushed to a Buffalo, N.Y., hospital for treatment.

Maguire, 53, who played for the Bills in the 1960s, was taken to Buffalo General Hospital by private car around 8:30, according to hospital spokesman Mike Shaw. Maguire was listed in critical condition yesterday afternoon in the cardiac care unit.

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