Steelers re-sign Woodley
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed linebacker LaMarr Woodley to a six-year contract that will keep him with the National Football League team through to the end of the 2016 season, the Steelers said on Friday. Financial terms were not announced, but local media reported the deal was worth US$61.5 million, including a US$22.5 million signing bonus. That would make Woodley the second highest-paid player on the team behind quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The 2009 Pro Bowl selection recorded 10 sacks last season to join James Harrison as the only Steelers to post double-digit sack totals in back-to-back seasons. Woodley, 26, also set a league record by posting two sacks in each of his first four playoff games as the Steelers went on to win last season’s AFC championship and reach the Super Bowl, which they lost to the Green Bay Packers.
Rangers’ Avery arrested
The New York Rangers’ Sean Avery is out on bail after he was arrested in California on allegations he shoved a police officer at his Hollywood Hills home. Lieutenant Jorge Pardo told City News Service that a neighbor’s noise complaint sent police to the home at about 1am on Friday. Pardo said Avery answered the front door, shoved an officer and slammed the door, but cooperated when officers knocked a second time. The officer was not injured. The 31-year-old hockey player was booked on suspicion of battery on a police officer. He was released about seven hours later after posting US$20,000 bail. The Rangers said they would discuss the matter with Avery and had no immediate comment.
Woody retires after 12 years
Pro Bowl offensive lineman Damien Woody, a two-time Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots, announced his retirement after 12 seasons on Friday. “You never expect this day to happen, but one thing I say is I’m really looking forward to life after football, especially my body,” Woody told reporters. “This is a great day.” Taken with the 17th overall pick in the first round of the 1999 NFL draft, Woody also played for the Detroit Lions and spent his final three seasons with the New York Jets. He played in 173 career games, including 166 as a starter, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2002.
Dodgers agree to MLB loans
The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached an agreement to accept as much as US$150 million in loans from Major League Baseball to keep the team afloat as it works its way through bankruptcy. The deal, announced in court papers on Friday, resolves the team’s concern that an MLB loan would contain language allowing the league to take control of team. The agreement is “satisfactory,” both “in its economics and its terms,” a team spokesperson said. The parties submitted their proposed agreement to bankruptcy judge Kevin Gross in US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. The proposal was the result of negotiations ordered by Gross after the Dodgers initially tried to accept a loan from a unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co instead of the league. Gross said it was “unclear” how the Dodgers expected to operate “within the framework of baseball” if they were unwilling to cooperate with MLB, adding that the league’s deal would save the team US$14 million. Attorneys for the Dodgers said their hesitation was rooted in covenants included in the deal that could allow MLB commissioner Bud Selig to seize the team.