Eleven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks was released by the Buccaneers on Wednesday, part of a purge of veterans to help Tampa Bay get ready for free agency.
Cut along with Brooks were running back Warrick Dunn, wide receivers Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard, and linebacker Cato June.
Brooks and the others were cut for age reasons – the Bucs already are far under the $123 million salary cap as free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. EST Friday.
•Jacobs signs new contract: The New York Giants signed halfback Brandon Jacobs to a four-year, $25 million contract that includes $13 million in guarantees. Jacobs will earn $15 over the first two years.
•Crowder inks multiyear deal: Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder has signed a multiyear contract, though the details of the deal are still unknown.
•Hackett released by Pathers: The Carolina Panthers released wide receiver D.J. Hackett. He was signed to a two-year, $3.5 million free-agent deal before last season, but finished with just 13 receptions.
•Andrews agrees with Brady’s doctors: According to noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, Tom Brady’s chances are good for a full recovery from last September’s knee injury.
Calhoun wins No. 800
Victory No. 800 reminded Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun of something his father once told him as a boy: You’re always going to be judged by the company you keep.
And with the second-ranked Huskies’ 93-82 victory over No. 8 Marquette, Calhoun joined Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, Jim Phelan, Mike Krzyzewski and Eddie Sutton as the only coaches to win 800 games in Division I history.
•Virginia Tech upsets Clemson: Malcolm Delaney scored 26 points and Virginia Tech ended a three-game losing streak with an 80-77 victory over No. 12 Clemson.
•Villanova rallies for win: Scottie Reynolds and Dante Cunningham both scored 18 points, and No. 10 Villanova rallied to beat DePaul 74-72 for its ninth win in 10 games.
Celtics fall on road
Zach Randolph scored 30 points, including the final three of the game, to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 93-91 home upset of the Boston Celtics.
•Hornets hand Pistons another loss: David West scored 30 points and grabbed two key offensive rebounds on New Orleans’ final possession, helping the Hornets hold off the visiting Detroit Pistons 90-87.
•Nuggets sneak past Hawks: Chauncey Billups scored a season-best 33 points for Denver and the host Nuggets escaped with a 110-109 win over the depleted Atlanta Hawks.
•Parker shines for Spurs: With Tim Duncan sidelined for the second straight game, Tony Parker scored 39 points and the Spurs beat the Portland Trail Blazers for the 11th consecutive time at home, 99-84.
Dodgers try again
The Los Angeles Dodgers made a fourth bid for Manny Ramirez, this time offering the enigmatic slugger a $25 million, one-year contract with a $20 million player option for 2010.
•Rodriguez goes deep in first game: Alex Rodriguez was booed, then homered in his first game since admitting he took performance- enhancing drugs. The New York Yankees slugger started the spring training season with a two-run homer and two walks.
Red Wings handle Sharks
Henrik Zetterberg scored two goals – the first short-handed and the second on a power play – to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the NHL-leading San Jose Sharks 4-1 at Detroit.
•Maple Leafs win in shootout: Nikolai Kulemin scored the shootout winner, Vesa Toskala turned aside all three New York attempts and Toronto spoiled coach John Tortorella’s Rangers debut with a 2-1 home victory.
•Penguins win with late goal: Petr Sykora scored with 2:28 remaining and the Pittsburgh Penguins, missing the injured Sidney Crosby, beat the last-place New York Islanders 1-0 in Pittsburgh.
•Brodeur set to return: New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur will make his first start since missing nearly four months with an elbow injury after getting the majority of work for the third straight practice.
Barkley not concerned
Charles Barkley said he’s not worried about serving a jail sentence after pleading guilty Monday to charges of driving drunk in December in Arizona. He must pay more than $2,000 in fines and attend an alcohol treatment program.
•Racing Hall of Fame finalists chosen: Bob Baffert is among the 11 finalists for election to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. The other finalists are the Baffert-trained Point Given and Silverbulletday; jockeys Eddie Maple, Randy Romero and Alex Solis; trainer Robert Wheeler; and Open Mind, Sky Beauty, Best Pal and Tiznow.
•Top seeds advance in Dubai: Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray led the top six seeds into the quarterfinals of the $2.23 million Dubai Tennis Championships.
•Stanford athletic department faces cuts: Stanford University announced it will cut 21 positions in its athletic department because of the economic downturn, while keeping all 35 of its varsity teams and coaches.