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Colts boot former defensive MVP

INDIANAPOLIS — Bob Sanders couldn't stay healthy, and the Colts couldn't afford to keep investing in the often-injured safety.

Team owner Jim Irsay released the 2007 NFL defensive player of the year Friday. "We thank Bob for all his incredible contributions, from his Super Bowl interception to his defensive player of the year honor," Irsay said.

After winning the league's top defensive honor, Sanders signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract but due to injuries played in only nine regular-season games over the next three seasons.

"I always will consider myself a Colt," Sanders, 29, said.

Lions tamper, lose pick: The Lions have been found guilty of tampering with Chiefs players and will lose a pick in April's draft, the league said. The Lions will forfeit their seventh-round pick and also swap fifth-round picks with the Chiefs.

The tampering charges revolved around defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham's comments to the Detroit News Press about the Lions' interest in acquiring unnamed Kansas City players still under contract last year, and "impermissible contact" the Lions had with safety Jarrad Page or his agent.

Mediation begins: Commissioner Roger Goodell and union head DeMaurice Smith met with a federal mediator for about six hours, a bid to jump-start labor negotiations two weeks before owners could lock out players and threaten the 2011 season.

It was the sides' first session with George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a U.S. government agency. Mediation is not binding.

More than two hours after Goodell and Smith arrived with their bargaining teams, the league and the NFL Players Association released a joint statement saying both parties agreed to adhere to Cohen's request that they not speak publicly about the process.

Former safety duerson found dead: Dave Duerson, a four-time Pro Bowl safety who played on Super Bowl winners with the Bears and Giants, was found dead Thursday in his home on Sunny Isles Beach in northeast Miami-Dade County. He was 50. Investigators have not determined the cause of death. He was a third-round pick by the Bears in 1983 out of Notre Dame.

Steelers: The franchise tag was placed on Pro Bowl linebacker LaMarr Woodley. The 26-year-old made $550,000 last season, the final year of his rookie deal. But, because of the tag and his position, he stands to make more than $10 million this season if the club doesn't sign him to a long-term deal.

Colts boot former defensive MVP 02/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 18, 2011 10:33pm]
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