Indianapolis Colts safety Bob Sanders is finally bearing fruit on his productivity; Michael Marot of the Associated Press reports that the 2-time Pro Bowler Friday signed a 5-year extension, a deal that will keep him in Indianapolis through 2012 and also make him one of the NFL’s highest paid safeties.
According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the deal is worth $37.5 million – including $20 million in guaranteed money. In the extension, Sanders’ annual salary of $7.5 million is nearly $1 million more than Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, and the guaranteed money surpasses what Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed received in June 2006. Despite a denial by Colts spokesman Craig Kelley, Sanders told the AP that the deal was finalized on Friday.
This season Sanders staying healthy was a big deal as his presence on the field is a big reason the Colts passing defense is #1, and the Colts’ run defense has even improved under Sanders’ watch. Not including Week 17, Sanders has recorded 123 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, 2 interceptions and 1 forced fumble. Stats aside, his presence just seems to make the defense that much better. And just the fact that he remained healthy – he only missed one game – only validates that. But equally as important, today’s signing will solidify what is already a pretty good Colts defense for the foreseeable future.