National Sports Briefs: NFL group settles suit with retired players
NEW YORK ó Hall of Fame cornerback Herb Adderley is encouraged that the NFL Players Association has taken “an historic first step” in reconciling its long-standing rift with the old guard by settling a lawsuit with its retired players on Thursday.
In a surprise move, the NFLPA reversed course by dropping its appeal and reaching a $26.25 million settlement with Adderley and thousands of other retired players who had successfully sued the union for cutting them out of lucrative marketing deals.
“I’m elated that this thing is coming to a close,” Adderley told The Associated Press. “It’s a great feeling and I’m happy to be a small part of it.”
– PHOENIX ó The Arizona Cardinals have signed two-time Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson to a new five-year, $39 million contract, with $18.5 million guaranteed.
The High Point native played at N.C. State.
– NEW YORK ó Buffalo Bills founder Ralph Wilson Jr. has chosen ESPN personality Chris Berman as his presenter when he goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this summer.
Other presenters include Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach for former wide receiver Bob Hayes; former Bills defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell for Bruce Smith; and former Chiefs president Carl Peterson for Derrick Thomas.
– PITTSBURGH ó Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has returned to practice a day after he limped off the field following a collision with running back Willie Parker.
Roethlisberger had his left knee wrapped on Thursday in the only sign of the mishap that occurred during the team’s optional offseason workouts.
INDIANAPOLIS ó Goodyear says it’s pleased with its latest tests at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where faulty tires last summer turned the NASCAR Allstate 400 at the Brickyard into a series of 10- to 12-lap sprints.
The tiremaker says the private tests Monday and Tuesday with Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Patrick Carpentier, Bill Elliott, Robby Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Stewart and David Stremme came with weather and track conditions near what is expected for the July 26 race.
– DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ó NASCAR has moved to double-file restarts beginning with this weekend’s race at Pocono Raceway.The first- and second-place drivers will line up side-by-side as the green flag drops for each restart.
The former restart procedure had lap-down cars on the inside, and the lead-lap cars on the outside for the restarts.
DUBLIN, Ohio ó Tiger Woods hardly missed a fairway, a big improvement. Luke Donald hardly missed a putt, and that was far more rewarding Thursday at the Memorial.
Donald set a tournament record by taking only 20 putts, which allowed him to tie a tournament record by opening with an 8-under 64 and a three-shot lead over a group that included Jim Furyk and Jason Day, who bogeyed his last two holes.
– SPRINGFIELD, Ill. ó Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 for a share of the first-round lead with fellow South Korean Jee Young Lee in the LPGA State Farm Classic.
PARIS ó Dinara Safina shanked shots, squandered chances, screamed profanities at herself and still won, setting up an all-Russian final at French Open.
The top-ranked Safina beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals Thursday and needs one more win for her first Grand Slam title.
On Saturday, she’ll face No. 7-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Samantha Stosur of Australia, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.
DENVER ó The Colorado Avalanche hired Joe Sacco of the AHL as their coach on Thursday, a day after firing Tony Granato and shaking up their front office.
Sacco inherits a team coming off its worst finish since moving to Denver in 1995.