Receiver Lee Evans signed a four-year contract extension worth $37.25 million on Thursday in a deal that prevents the Buffalo Bills’ star from becoming a free agent after this season.
Evans, who is guaranteed to make $18.25 million in the new deal that runs through 2012, earned a significant raise over the base salary of $2.25 million he’ll make this season, the final year of the rookie contract he signed after the Bills selected him 13th overall in the 2004 draft out Wisconsin.
Re-signing Evans was considered the Bills’ top priority this year, and negotiations began in April.
Evans had also expressed a desire to remain in Buffalo, where he has emerged as the team’s top offensive player.
•Stadium must give deaf patrons “aural content”: The Washington Redskins were ordered to provide deaf and hard-of-hearing fans with “equal access to aural content” in the team’s stadium, such as music lyrics, ads and other broadcasts on the public-address system.
This week’s court ruling is the first of its kind under the Americans with Disabilities Act and will likely affect other sports venues, said Joseph Espo, a lawyer for three Redskins fans who filed the lawsuit in 2006.
The judge did not specify how FedEx Field should comply with the law. But the ruling noted that the plaintiffs in this case would not be helped by assisted listening devices, which patrons have long been provided at FedEx Field upon request.
•Virus outbreak forces cancellation: Georgetown’s scheduled football game Saturday at Colgate has been called off because of an outbreak of norovirus at Georgetown.
Jeff Overton shot a 5-under 67 to take the first-round lead at the Turning Stone Resort Championship at Verona, N.Y., the second stop on the PGA Tour’s Fall Series.
Overton, who started at the 10th hole, made three birdies on the front side to take a one-shot lead over Michael Allen and Steve Allan.
•Shin first-round leader: At Half Moon Bay, Calif., Ji-Yai Shin shot a 5-under 67 to take the first-day lead in the Samsung World Championship, topping Paula Creamer’s 68 that featured a birdie on 17 following a bogey on the previous hole.
Lorena Ochoa, the world No. 1 and two-time defending Samsung champion, and five-time winner Annika Sorenstam each missed tough birdie putts on 18 to finish in a group at 69, two strokes off the lead.
Yani Tseng, who is leading the Rookie of the Year race and ranked third, also had a 69.
Helton has surgery
Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton had surgery on his lower back and is expected to be ready for spring training.
Helton, a career .328 hitter, batted just .264 with seven homers and 29 RBIs in 83 games this season.
•Astros relievers undergo surgery: Houston relief pitchers Geoff Geary and Chris Sampson had surgery, and Sampson will be sidelined for four-to-six months.
Geary, a 32-year-old right-hander, was in Philadelphia for repairs to a right hip adductor injury and a torn abdominal muscle. He is expected to recover in four-to-six weeks and be ready for spring training.
Sampson, a 30-year-old right-hander, had surgery to repair a lateral extensor tendon in his throwing elbow.
•Minaya signed through 2012: Omar Minaya is staying as general manager of the New York Mets. Jerry Manuel is likely to remain as manager.
Minaya became general manager in 2004 and was signed to a five-year deal. He was given three additional guaranteed seasons in a new contract that runs through 2012. It includes club options covering 2013 and 2014.
Minaya said Manuel is the only current candidate for manager. Manuel took over on an interim basis when Willie Randolph was fired on June 17. New York was 34-35 when Manuel took over and it finished at 89-73.
ESPN expands reach
ESPN is extending its presence in Europe and the Middle East with the rebranding of a channel dedicated to American sports.
North American Sports Network, which was bought by the U.S. cable network last year, will become ESPN America on Feb. 1, Super Bowl Sunday.
That showpiece event will be available in limited markets because of rights issues, but ESPN said it can show live coverage from Major League Baseball, the NHL and NFL.
•Cycling doping sting closes without convictions: At Madrid, Spain, Operation Puerto, cycling’s biggest doping investigation, has been shut down without a single conviction.
Spanish media reported that a judge officially sealed Operation Puerto, a civil guard probe that had implicated more than 50 riders. Raids in Madrid and Zaragoza in May 2006 turned up steroids, hormones and the endurance- boosting substance EPO, nearly 100 bags of frozen blood, and equipment for treating blood.
The reports said Judge Antonio Serrano decided to close the case after tested samples showed levels of EPO that were too low to merit a health risk – in line with Spanish doping laws of the time.