NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is taking a pay cut and the league staff has been trimmed by 15% because of the reeling economy, the NFL confirmed Wednesday.
The league said that its staff cut, announced more than two months ago, has resulted in a reduction of 169 jobs through buyouts, layoffs and other staff reductions.
That amounts to just over 15% of the league's work force of 1,100.
"All of us understand that it will continue to take collective sacrifice to get through this challenging economic environment, but these and other steps by our office and clubs will enable us to be more efficient and better positioned for future growth," league spokesman Greg Aiello said.
Goodell, meanwhile, voluntarily took a cut of 20%-25% from the $11-million salary and bonuses he was to receive in the 2008 fiscal year, which ends March 31. He and other league executives are freezing their salaries for 2009.
Derrick Brooks, one of the top players in Tampa Bay history, was cut by the Buccaneers in a purge of the team's older players.
The others were wide receivers Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard, running back Warrick Dunn and linebacker Cato June. The 29-year-old June is the only player under 30.
The releases save more than $10 million in salary cap space for a team that already is close to $50 million under the projected cap of $123 million.
Tom Brady's chances are good for a full recovery from last September's knee injury, noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews said. Andrews, a Birmingham, Ala., orthopedist for elite athletes, said Brady's doctors were aggressive in finding and treating the infection after his operation.
The New York Jets restructured Laveranues Coles' contract, allowing the veteran wide receiver to become an unrestricted free agent when the signing period begins Friday.
The St. Louis Rams released veteran quarterback Trent Green and wide receiver Drew Bennett.
Times writers are honored
The Los Angeles Times and New York Times tied for the most writing awards with six among newspapers with more than 250,000 circulation in the annual Associated Press Sports Editors contest.
Bill Plaschke and Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times were honored twice with top 10 finishes, Plaschke for columns and game stories and Baxter for features and projects. Sam Farmer and Chuck Culpepper finished among the top 10 in breaking news and game story categories, respectively. Top five rankings will be announced by April 1.
The L.A. Times sports section was judged among the top 10 dailies in the over 250,000 division and received honorable mention for Sundays. The Orange County Register also received honorable mention for Sundays in that division. The Los Angeles Daily News was among the top 10 dailies in the 100,000-250,000 circulation division.
Ram loses in first round at Dubai
Andy Ram, who was granted special permission to play after fellow Israeli Shahar Peer was denied a visa, lost in the first round of the doubles at the Dubai Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates.
The fourth-seeded pairing of Ram and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe fell, 6-3, 2-6, 10-8, to Marat Safin and David Ferrer.
Ram's appearance comes a week after Peer was barred from entering the country to play in the women's tournament. At the time, organizers cited security concerns for the decision, which prompted widespread protests and pressure to allow Ram to compete.
Qualifier Evgeny Korolev defeated Robert Kendrick, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, to move into the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships in Delray Beach, Fla. There were two upsets, as second-seeded Sam Querrey lost to Christophe Rochus, 6-4, 6-1, and eighth-seeded Lu Yen-Hsun lost to Stefan Koubek, 6-4, 6-3.
Top-seeded doubles partners Bob and Mike Bryan of Camarillo defeated Ashley Fisher and Max Mirnyi, Belarus, 7-5, 6-3.
Joe Garvey, father of Steve
Joe Garvey, 81, a Greyhound bus driver who transported the Dodgers to and from spring training games for 25 years and whose son, Steve, became an All-Star first baseman for the team, died Friday at a hospice in Palm Desert. Story, Section B.