- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 26, 2009

From combined dispatches

Derrick Brooks, one of the top players in Tampa Bay history, was cut by the Buccaneers on Wednesday in a purge of the team’s older players.

Brooks, the NFL’s defensive player of the year when the Bucs won the Super Bowl after the 2002 season, was among five players cut, four of them older than 32-year-old Raheem Morris, the team’s new coach.

The others include 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 and the only one younger than Morris.

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.

GIANTS: Less than two weeks after putting a franchise tag on him, New York signed running back Brandon Jacobs to a four-year, $25 million contract.

The signing came less than two days before the start of the NFL free agency period.

“I was confident all along that this was going to get done. I didn’t panic one bit,” Jacobs said. “I know the reason we did it the way we did; I knew I was going to be here. I was super-confident, and I am here. I’m happy about it.”

The deal includes $13 million in guarantees. Jacobs will earn $15 million over the first two years.

RAMS: St. Louis released veteran quarterback Trent Green and wide receiver Drew Bennett.

The 38-year-old Green was in his second stint with the Rams. He played in three games last season, completing 38 of 72 passes for 525 yards with no touchdowns and six interceptions.

Bennett signed a six-year, $30 million deal two years ago after six seasons with the Titans.

TEXANS: Houston released defensive end Anthony Weaver, safety Will Demps and defensive tackle Ephraim Salaam.

Weaver, who spent three years with the team, started each game last season and finished with 45 tackles.

Demps, who has also played for the New York Giants and Baltimore, started five games last season and had 32 tackles.

PATRIOTS: Noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews says Tom Brady’s doctors were aggressive in finding and treating the infection after his operation and the chances are good for a full recovery for the New England quarterback.

Andrews says preventing Brady’s infection was nearly impossible, no matter how good the doctors are.

DOLPHINS: Linebacker Channing Crowder signed a multiyear contract to remain with Miami, a surprising move after negotiations appeared at a stalemate only a few days ago. Crowder has started since his rookie season in 2005. He moved to middle linebacker last year and had a career-high 114 tackles.

NFL: Commissioner Roger Goodell is taking a pay cut, and the league staff has been trimmed by 15 percent because of the reeling economy.

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 more than 15 percent of the league’s work force of 1,100.

Goodell voluntarily took a cut of 20 to 25 percent 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.

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