The New Orleans Saints announced Saturday that suspended head coach Sean Payton and the team have reached an agreement in principle to a multi-year contract extension.
The deal is for five years, according to multiple reports.
ESPN.com reported that the contract will pay Payton $8 million per year, making him the highest-paid coach in the NFL. The agreement still must pass league approval, according to reports.
"I am pleased that Sean Payton will be our head coach for a long time," Saints owner Tom Benson said in a statement. "Now we can focus our attention on building on the winning tradition with the Saints that Sean has played such a large role in."
Payton's contract was due to expire at the end of the season and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rejected a contract extension agreed to in 2011 because it contained a clause that would allow Payton to leave if general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended or left the Saints.
Payton is serving a one-year suspension for his role in the Saints' "Bountygate" scandal. He is eligible for reinstatement on Feb. 4, a day after the Super Bowl.
There were rumors that Payton would be a potential candidate to coach the Dallas Cowboys should Jason Garrett not be retained. Payton is a former Cowboys assistant coach.
Payton has led the Saints to three NFC South titles and four postseason appearances since being hired in 2006, including two NFC Championship game appearances and a win in Super Bowl XLIV.
---New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, according to CSN New England.
Gronkowski, who has been out the past five games with a broken forearm, is listed as questionable on the team's injury report. If he plays, it will likely be in a limited role. He has 53 catches for 748 yards with 10 touchdowns this year.
---Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace's four-year career with Pittsburgh may have come to an end as he (hip), rookie offensive tackle Mike Adams (ankle) and cornerback Curtis Brown (ankle) were all placed on injured reserve Saturday. The Steelers' season ends with Sunday's home game vs. the Cleveland Browns.
Wallace sat out practice this week with a hip injury after catching a season-low one pass for 13 yards in last Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals that eliminated the Steelers from the playoffs.
Wallace, who staged a lengthy holdout before the 2012 season, is scheduled to become a free agent after this season and finished with a career-low 13-yard average per catch.
Pittsburgh promoted wide receiver David Gilreath and nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu from the practice squad. The Steelers also claimed defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks.
---Former NFL player Charles "Chuck" Cherundolo died Saturday in Lakeland, Fla., according to the Scranton Times-Tribune. He was 96. Cherundolo played 10 years with three NFL teams and was an assistant coach for 22 seasons for four teams.
He was a Pro Bowler for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1941 and '42. He also played for the Cleveland Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. His NFL career was interrupted when he served for the Navy during World War II. He began his coaching career for the Steelers in 1949. He was also an assistant coach for the Eagles, Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears.
---San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is questionable to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported that he will most likely not play.
Davis told reporters Friday that he wants to play but did not seem optimistic about it. He is still recovering from a concussion sustained against the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. He wore a black non-contact jersey during practice Friday. He still has to pass a simulated contact test before he can be cleared to play.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said that Davis was "on course" to play, but the Chronicle reported that Davis did not sound like a player expecting to return to action during an interview after practice. He said he felt "OK" and " all right" and that he was "taking it easy" during practice.
The 49ers' receiving corps has thinned out with Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams out. Michael Crabtree is the only available receiver with more than Davis' 40 catches this season. Crabtree has 77 receptions.
---Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware said he will play Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins with a brace on his right shoulder, according to ESPN Dallas.
Ware will wear the brace because his dislocated right shoulder keeps popping out. He also has a hyperextended right elbow. Even though he has not practiced this week, he is listed as probable on the team's injury report. Also, inside linebacker Ernie Sims is questionable with a concussion. He participated fully in practice but has to pass a contact test before he can be cleared to play.
The winner of Sunday's game will clinch the NFC East division title.