1. Archive

Jets get closer to cap

The Jets slashed their payroll by restructuring Curtis Martin's contract, parting with Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law and cutting other veterans, including quarterback Jay Fiedler, offensive tackle Jason Fabini and fullback Jerald Sowell.

The team is about $26-million over the salary cap and must be at or under it by March 3, the first day of free agency.

Martin, 32, fourth all-time in rushing yards, was the league's top rusher in 2004 but had arthroscopic injury on his right knee in December and finished with 730 yards. Terms were not disclosed.

New York is are still negotiating with quarterback Chad Pennington, whose cap number could be as high as $12-million.

The team said it and Law agreed to part ways. He would have been due $11-million to trigger the final three years of his contract, which the Jets could not afford. The cornerback, 32, tied for the league lead with 10 interceptions last season.

Also cut were three reserves: linebacker Barry Gardner, defensive tackle Lance Legree and receiver Harry Williams.

BILLS: Cornerback Nate Clements was named the franchise player, allowing Buffalo to keep his rights with a one-year offer worth $5.89-million. The 21st overall pick in 2001 has 20 interceptions, four returned for touchdowns, and has started 72 consecutive games since becoming the starter midway through his rookie season. This past season, he had two interceptions and was third on the team with 127 tackles.

JAGUARS: Coach Jack Del Rio signed a new deal, keeping him in Jacksonville for three more seasons. Del Rio, 26-22, had two years left on a five-year contract that averaged $1.3-million. But after making the playoffs in his third season, he received a new three-year deal the Associated Press reported is worth more than $3-million a season.

PATRIOTS: The team disclosed quarterback Tom Brady had surgery last week but didn't say for what. Tuesday during a golf tournament, Brady said he had to take it easy on hard swings.

RAVENS: The team said it would not designate running back Jamal Lewis a franchise or transition player. That would make him a free agent March 3, but Baltimore left open the possibility of re-signing him. Lewis, who rushed for 2,066 yards in 2003, had only 906 last season. That followed a four-month prison sentence and two months in a halfway house for a cocaine conspiracy plea bargain. He also had surgery on his right ankle.

ARENA FOOTBALL: Storm quarterback Shane Stafford was named the player of the week for his performance in Sunday's 67-64 overtime loss to Orlando. Stafford completed 36 of 52 passes for 458 yards and eight touchdowns and ran for the two-point conversion that forced overtime. His completions tied for second most in league history, his passing yards third.