Agreed The University of Texas said it has agreed to pay former coach Mack Brown $2.75 million that would have been owed him if he had been fired, and place him in a one-year, $500,000 job as a special assistant to the president for athletics. Both options had been part of Brown’s original contract in separate clauses in case of termination or resignation. Brown announced on Dec. 14 that he would step down after Texas’ bowl game and called it a “mutual” decision between himself, school president Bill Powers and athletic director Steve Patterson.
• A person familiar with the deal said that A.J. Burnett agreed to a one-year contract with the Philadelpia Phillies. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Phillies haven’t made an official announcement. Burnett’s deal reportedly is worth $16 million. If Cole Hamels is healthy, he and Burnett give the Phillies a formidable top three along with Cliff Lee. Burnett was 10-11 with a 3.30 ERA for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season and possesses a 3.99 ERA in 15 major league seasons.
Released New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says the club released strong safety Roman Harper, outside linebacker and defensive end Will Smith, and cornerback Jabari Greer. Loomis also says the club does not intend to re-sign linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who has been hampered by recurring knee injuries the past few seasons. Loomis says parting ways with four longtime Saints who played key roles in the club’s only Super Bowl title was difficult. However, he says the moves were needed to help New Orleans bring its player payroll below the NFL’s salary cap. Extended The Denver Broncos have extended executive vice president John Elway’s contract for three years and added general manager to his title. The Broncos have gone 37-17 since Elway rejoined the team in 2011 and are coming off an AFC Championship but a 43-8 blowout loss to Seattle in the Super Bowl. When he returned to the Broncos after a 4-12 season in 2010, Elway hired coach John Fox, who has led Denver to three straight AFC West titles.
Proposed The NCAA football rules committee has proposed a change to the targeting rule that would eliminate the 15-yard penalty when instant replay officials overturn an ejection. Last year, when a targeting penalty was called, the 15-yard penalty stood even if the replay official determined the player should be allowed to stay in the game. The proposal needs approval from the playing rules oversight panel.
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