The Michigan Daily -Friday, September 8, 1989-.Page 17
Falcons make Deion
Sanders a millionaire
SUWANEE, GA (AP) - Deion Falcons coach Marion Campbell
Panders got his April 24 wish said there's a possibility Sanders will
yesterday -- an NFL contract that be used in Sunday's regular season
made him an instant millionaire. opener against the Los Angeles
Sanders, the All-American Rams as a punt returner and possibly
bornerback from Florida State, got a as a nickel back in passing
$2 million signing bonus with the situations.
Atlanta Falcons, part of a four-year "I haven't caught a punt in a
package that will pay him about $4.5 while, so we'll know in the next
million. couple of days," Sanders said.
Nobody has ever gotten $2 Sanders was playing baseball for
million up front," said Steve Zucker, the New York Yankees in Seattle on
Sanders' football agent. "It's the Wednesday night when he got word
largest ever. Deion has a lot of that Zucker and the Falcons had come
pride" to terms following an eight-hour
"I'm ready to contribute any way negotiating session.
A can," said Sanders, who the day
after the April 23 NFL draft said he Sanders left during the sixth
wanted a contract that would rhyme inning of the game and caught an
with his name - "Million, Deion." overnight flight to Atlanta.
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Barry Sanders is all smiles, as are his parents, after signing a contract with the Detroit Lions yesterday that will pay him $9.5 million over five years.
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PONTIAC, MI (AP)
Heisman-trophy winner Barry
Sanders signed a $9.5 million, 5-
year contract with the Detroit Lions
on Thursday, ending six weeks of
negotiations between the team and
its top draft choice.
"I'm not one to make promises.
But I'm ready to give 100 percent
to the Detroit Lions. It's time to
work. This is big business," said
Sanders, whose deal includes a $2.5
million signing bonus.
Ten percent of the bonus will go
to the Paradise Baptist Church in
his hometown of Wichita, Kan.
said Sanders, a running back who
gave up his last year of eligibility
at Oklahoma State and was the No
3 pick overall in the April
Lions coach Wayne Fontes
introduced Sanders, gave the rook
ie's father a cigar and left the news
conference at the Silverdome with-
out commenting. Chuck Schmidt
Detroit's Vice President for finance,
said the negotiations took so long
because, "You can't get things done
until the time is right."
Asked what made the time right,
he replied, "We'realized that Barry
was one of the sought-after players
and how valuable he would be to
TWO OTHER rookie holdouts
signed earlier this week. No. 2
overall pick Tony Mandarich of
Michigan State signed with Green
Bay and Atlanta signed No. 5 pick
Deion Sanders of Florida State, fio
relation to Barry Sanders.
Sanders arrived earlier Thursday
at Detroit Metropolitan Airport
from San Francisco, where he was
working out while his lawyers
negotiated. "I just got the call last
night and they told me I had to
come to Detroit today," he said.
Sanders' father said his son is i
good condition, and the Lions want
him to play for the season-opener
Sunday against Phoenix.
"They made that statement lasi
night when they called him. Thei
want him to play Sunday," Willie
Sanders said he is in shape and
could play Sunday, but learning the
team's complicated stretch offense
might be difficult in three days.
Fontes said he wouldn't bc
surprised to see Sanders play Sun,
day. If not then, soon.
"He'll add excitement, he'll add
quickness, hopefully he'll add
touchdowns," Fontes said.
"Barry's getting more than he
wants." Willie Sander said"He'