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Lynch gets $75K fine for big hit

Broncos safety John Lynch was fined $75,000 by the NFL on Tuesday for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Colts tight end Dallas Clark Sunday.

The league said Lynch, a 12-year veteran with a reputation as a hard hitter, received the harsh penalty because it was his fourth fine for unnecessary roughness since 2001. The first three all cost him $7,500.

The hit came in the first quarter. Clark made a catch and Lynch leveled him just as he turned around. A flag went flying, the ball came loose, it was scooped up by Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, but he then fumbled and Broncos cornerback Kelly Herndonpicked it up and ran for a touchdown. Because the hit didn't result in a tackle, officials picked up the flag.

On review, however, officials ruled the pass was incomplete and reinstated the personal foul.

The Broncos were off Tuesday and Lynch was unavailable for comment. After the game, though, the safety said he had no regrets about the hit and insisted it would send a message for the rematch between the teams Sunday at Indianapolis in the first round of the playoffs.

"They're great players," Lynch said. "You've got to find something to slow them down. The only way I think people have found is to be physical with them."

The hit knocked Clark out of the game with a concussion. He looked dazed on the sideline and had some blood inside his mouth. Approached by a teammate, he could be seen mouthing the words "I fumbled?" when told of the result of the play.

Lynch talked at length about the hit Sunday, and joked about a conversation he had with officials: "I told the ref, "You're killing me. I've got three kids to send to school,' " Lynch said.

COLTS: Defensive tackle Montae Reagor avoided arrest after showing up 6{ hours late for a court hearing on a harassment charge in Littleton, Colo. At a mid-afternoon hearing, Judge Marguerite T. Langstaff canceled an arrest warrant issued hours earlier for Reagor's failure to appear, reinstated the previous bond and released Reagor, court spokesman Michael Knight said.

Reagor is charged with harassing and making telephone threats to a former girlfriend who lives in the Denver area. He was released on $1,000 bond after his arrest on Saturday and played in the Colts' 33-14 loss to the Broncos the next day.

The woman, who has a 2-year-old son with Reagor, told investigators that Reagor was upset about child support payments and threatened her life unless she stopped court proceedings against him, according to court documents.

STEELERS: Ben Roethlisberger, who has an unprecedented 13-0 record as the rookie starting quarterback, likely will pocket more than $2-million in first-year bonuses on top of his $9-million signing bonus and $230,000 base salary. By March, Roethlisberger's total first-year windfall could exceed $12-million _ easily the most money any Steelers player has collected in one year.

_ TIMES WIRES

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