Doleman may be richest defender ZHC


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.

* PATRIOTS: The team has contacted the Cowboys about acquiring holdout fullback Alonzo Highsmith, a club source told the Dallas Morning News.

* GIANTS: Tight end Mark Bavaro, waived at the start of training camp, stands to gain as much as $100,000 if he files a claim for disability insurance.

In addition, two sources told Newsday that the Giants' final offer to Bavaro to accept his release was $250,000, not the $100,000 to $125,000 first reported. He refused the offer and took the minimum allowed under NFL rules, $65,000.

* STEELERS: Offensive guard Terry Long was distraught about an impending suspension for flunking a steroids test and over possibly losing his starting job and attempted twice to take his life, according to several teammates.

According to sources familiar with the incident, Long started a car in a closed garage at his home near Pittsburgh on Wednesday. When Long's girlfriend found him and called for help, Long went to another part of the house and swallowed rat poison, several sources said.

He remains in Alleghany General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

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