The way has been paved for John Madden to move from Fox to ABC's "Monday Night Football" booth, beginning next season.
Fox on Wednesday granted permission to Madden's representatives from International Management Group to talk with ABC, according to sources.
By granting permission, Fox negated the final year of Madden's contract, which pays him $8million a year. If Madden is unable to work out a deal with ABC, he will have to negotiate a new deal with Fox, which presumably would pay considerably less. ABC may offer Madden around $5 million a year.
Representatives from ABC and Fox declined comment, but it is assumed that if Madden goes to ABC, the "Monday Night Football" team would consist of Al Michaels and Madden.
ABC might find another spot for Dan Fouts, and Dennis Miller's status is uncertain.
Meanwhile, the speculation is that Joe Buck and Cris Collinsworth, who would move out of the studio, would make up the new No. 1 NFL announcing team at Fox.
Terrell Davis, who has played in only 17 games since 1998, signed a restructured contract with Denver that reportedly will save the team more than $4 million in salary cap room.... Jamal Anderson agreed to a restructured contract with Atlanta, ESPN reported. The veteran running back's base salary for the 2002 season will be reduced to $2 million from $5 million.... Linebacker Bill Romanowski signed with Oakland after being cut last week by the Broncos.... Green Bay released middle linebacker Bernardo Harris, the team's leading tackler four of the last five seasons, and defensive linemen Santana Dotson and John Thierry.... San Diego released tight end Freddie Jones and receiver Jeff Graham.... Dallas hired former Oklahoma head coach Gary Gibbs as linebackers coach.
Canadian Olympic officials want the International Olympic Committee to review drug tests of Russian women's cross-country skiers Olga Danilova and Larissa Lazutina, who finished first and second in the 10K combined at Salt Lake City.
The goal is for Canadian Beckie Scott, who won the bronze medal, to be awarded gold. Danilova and Lazutina were found guilty of doping and kicked out of the Games on Sunday.
Chia-chan Steven Lee, a member of the Taiwanese bobsledding team at Salt Lake City, was in critical condition at Stockton, Iowa, after an auto accident.
A high school star suffered a broken hand and a head injury after being severely beaten after a rival team's tournament game at Pikeville, Ky. Assault charges were filed against six Shelby Valley High students after a melee Monday that injured Jarrod R. Adkins, the leading scorer for rival Millard High.
Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, former world No. 1 men's player, had surgery on his right hip Tuesday at Sao Paulo.
Martina Hingis defeated Stephanie Foretz, 6-2, 6-4, to reach the quarterfinals of the State Farm Women's Classic at Scottsdale, Ariz.... Recovered from his bout with chicken pox, top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt of Australia defeated France's Michael Llodra, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, in the Siebel Open at San Jose.
Bill Plaschke, Times sports columnist, has been voted 2001 California Sportswriter of the Year by his contemporaries. It is the second time he has won the award, which is sponsored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Assn.
Junior bantamweight Jose Navarro (8-0, three knockouts) of Los Angeles, a 2000 U.S. Oympic boxing team member, faces Mexico's Luis De La Rosa (3-3-1, one KO) in an eight-round bout tonight at Tallahassee, Fla.
The Long Beach Ice Dogs (32-21-1) extended their season-high winning streak to eight games, defeating the San Diego Gulls, 6-1, in a West Coast Hockey League game at the Long Beach Arena.
Canadian super-middleweight kickboxer Derek Clements, who went into a coma after losing a world-championship match Saturday at Grand Rapids, Mich., died in his hometown of London, Ontario. He was 30.
Henrik Oscarsson, a pioneer of Swedish freestyle skiing, died Monday after being caught in an avalanche in Switzerland. He was 41.
T.J. Simers has the day off.