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Bills reward kicker Lindell with extension

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (Dec. 27, 2006) -- Kicker Rian Lindell has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Buffalo Bills, preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

The deal was reached this week, Lindell's agent Paul Sheehy said. Lindell is a seven-year veteran and in his fourth season with Buffalo, solidifying a job that had been in flux since Steve Christie was released during the 2001 season.

The Bills declined comment because Lindell had not yet signed the contract.

"The number one thing was to get the deal done and stay in Buffalo," Sheehy said, noting that Lindell is happy with being part of one of the NFL's dominant special-teams units.

The move comes as the Bills (7-8), eliminated from playoff contention, close their season at Baltimore this weekend.

Lindell is enjoying a solid season, having hit 23 of 25 field goal attempts -- the 92 per cent success rate currently a single-season best. He has been particularly effective kicking in the blustery conditions at Ralph Wilson Stadium, while also going 10-for-12 from 40 yards or longer, including two from beyond 50.

He's coming off a game in which he matched a career high with five field goals in a 30-29 loss to Tennessee last weekend.

Lindell's best kick was a 42-yarder as time ran out to secure a 27-24 victory against Jacksonville on Nov. 26. It was Lindell's eighth career field goal that tied or won a game in the final minute or overtime, and first with Buffalo.

Lindell has also hit all 32 extra-point attempts, extending his career-long streak to 223 straight since he broke into the NFL with Seattle in 2000. It's the second longest streak by a player from the start of a career, 11 short of matching the record set by Tommy Davis.

AP NEWS
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