The deal gives Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (Boise State) $9 million in guarantees. It also provides the Cowboys with some cap relief. Scandrick is signed through the 2018 season.
Scandrick, who has had his best season in his six seasons since the Cowboys drafted him, signed a six-year, $28.2 million deal, with $10 million guaranteed, in 2011.
The new deal gives Scandrick guaranteed money and the security of knowing he will be on the team the next three years, while it gives the Cowboys a chance to get some badly needed cap relief over the next two years.
"It made sense for both of us," Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones said on Dallas' KRLD-FM. "When you sign guys to long-term deals, which we did with Orlando about three years ago, the back end of it is usually pretty heavy. Orlando wanted to stay in Dallas, and we were able to restructure something that helped us a lot and also gave Orlando what he wanted to have, which was some security, and of course, it meant a lot for him to stay here in Dallas, so it worked good for everybody."
When all the guaranteed money is in place, Scandrick will have received $21.7 million from Aug. 2011 through 2016.
Bengals safety George Iloka (Boise State) cleared concussion protocol after missing the end of last Sunday's game against the Colts after a hit to the head. Iloka practiced Wednesday and expects to play at Pittsburgh. Being forced out of the Colts game in the third quarter frustrated the starting safety, but he understands the broader view of NFL emphasis on head safety.
"I know the big picture," the 23-year-old said. "I want to be healthy when I grow up, but I also feel like I know my body better than anybody else. They're just doing their job like anybody else is, so I respect what they do."
49ers left guard Mike Iupati (Idaho) is listed as questionable with a knee injury. Coach Jim Harbaugh said it's "still a possibility" Iupati could return from a three-game absence.
Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin is questionable this week with an ankle injury. If he is unable to play, Austin Pettis (Boise State) would likely return punts and get a few more targets. Pettis enters Sunday's game against the Saints with 30 receptions, equaling his career-best from a year ago. His four touchdown receptions also match a career-high.
Panthers starting safety Quintin Mikell (Boise State) played the entire game against New Orleans last Sunday night, taking all 65 defensive snaps. Undrafted rookie Robert Lester, who had started the two previous games at strong safety, played only special teams.
The Colts will switch up some positions because of injury. Coach Chuck Pagano said Mike McGlynn will move to center and Hugh Thornton (Mountain View, Boise High) will start at left guard. Thornton missed last week with a neck injury, but he has played in 12 games and started 10.
Compiled by Chris Langrill