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Sanders Reportedly Won't Play for Lions Without New Contract

May 05, 1997|From Associated Press

Detroit running back Barry Sanders will not report to the team until he receives a contract that pays him more than quarterback Scott Mitchell, The Detroit News reported Sunday.

Sanders skipped a mandatory three-day minicamp a week ago to express his unhappiness over not having a new contract, angering new Coach Bobby Ross. He wants to be paid considerably more than Mitchell, the newspaper said, citing sources it didn't identify.

Sanders has one year left under a contract that will pay him $4.2 million in salary and bonuses, more than $1 million below Mitchell's $5.25-million average.

Mitchell signed a four-year deal in February worth $21 million, including an $8-million signing bonus and $2 million in roster bonuses.

The News, citing sources it said were familiar with the negotiations, reported that Sanders won't report to minicamp, training camp or for the regular season unless he has a new contract.

Lion officials say they have been negotiating with Sanders' agents for several weeks, the News reported.

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