NFL owners approve revenue-sharing plan
Irving, Texas NFL owners eliminated a major hurdle to realignment Wednesday by adopting a new revenue-sharing plan.
Under the plan that will begin in 2002, the 40 percent gate receipts earned by each visiting team in all regular season and preseason games will be combined, with the money then distributed equally among all 32 teams.
"There are economic considerations of realigning with a major upheaval of traditional rivalries," Kansas City owner Lamar Hunt said. "This is an important step."
Owners discussed but took no action on realignment that will be needed when expansion Houston joins in 2002.
With realignment, the six existing divisions will be reshaped into eight four-team divisions in two 16-team conferences. That will mean the end to some divisional rivalries. It would also mean that some teams may not routinely play road games against big-market teams that provide larger gate receipts under the current plan.
Owners will meet again in March.
Former agent Black pleads guilty to charge
Detroit William "Tank" Black, the agent charged with swindling NFL players out of millions of dollars, pleaded guilty Wednesday to money laundering and faces up to 61/2 years in prison. Under his plea agreement, Black also could be fined up to $2.2 million when he is sentenced May 10. In exchange for his guilty plea, Black was cleared of other charges, including conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
The 43-year-old Black was accused, with others, of laundering money for a drug ring that brought more than 1,000 pounds of cocaine into Detroit.
The Michigan case is separate from Black's legal problems related to his work as a sports agent. In Florida, Black has been free on $1 million bond on charges that he swindled about a dozen NFL players out of more than $5 million.
Randle fined $7,500
Eden Prairie, Minn. Minnesota defensive tackle John Randle was fined $7,500 by the NFL for a public act of obscenity during the Vikings' NFC playoff game against the New Orleans Saints on Jan. 7. After sacking Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks, Randle celebrated by acting as if he were urinating on the field. The league confirmed the fine, which was imposed last week.
Cowboys still not sure about Aikman decision
Irving, Texas Dallas owner Jerry Jones has met with Troy Aikman about the quarterback's future, but says he still doesn't know when a decision will be made.
Aikman, 34, missed the final two games last season. He suffered his second concussion of the season, and the 10th of his 12-year NFL career, when he was tackled by Washington linebacker Lavar Arrington on Dec. 10.
Aikman, the first player Jones ever drafted, is due $7 million if he's on the roster March 8. He has given no indication publicly if he plans to continue his career or retire.
League reinstates suspended Colt
Indianapolis Defensive end Shawn King, who started eight of the Indianapolis Colts' first nine games in 1999, has been reinstated by the NFL after a one-year suspension for violating the league's drug and alcohol policy.
He also was suspended for six games in 1997, when he was with Carolina.
Jets may be close to hiring a coach
Hempstead, N.Y. Ted Cottrell, Buffalo's defensive coordinator, became the fourth and perhaps final candidate to interview for the New York Jets coaching job.
Cottrell spent Wednesday at the Jets' training complex at Hofstra and met with general manager Terry Bradway and owner Woody Johnson, a team spokesman said.
With formal interviews completed, the Jets could have a replacement for Al Groh by the end of the week. Groh resigned on Dec. 30 to coach Virginia, his alma mater.
The other candidates are Maurice Carthon, the Jets' assistant head coach/running backs; Herman Edwards, Tampa Bay's assistant head coach/defensive backs; and Dom Capers, Jacksonville's defensive coordinator and the only one in the group with head coaching experience.
Cottrell also is a candidate to replace Wade Phillips as coach of the Bills.
Bengals to interview former Browns coach
Cincinnati Chris Palmer, fired as coach of the Cleveland Browns, is under consideration to become Cincinnati's offensive coordinator. Bengals coach Dick LeBeau expects to interview Palmer on Friday.
Palmer is a former offensive coordinator of Jacksonville. LeBeau also is interviewing Detroit receivers coach Jerry Sullivan this week. LeBeau has already interviewed fired Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, Steelers receivers coach Bob Bratkowski and Indianapolis quarterbacks coach Bruce Arians.
The Bengals are trying to revive an offense that ranked last in the NFL during 2000 in yards passing and scored only 185 points, the fewest in the Bengals' history.
Lions to speak with 49ers' coordinator
Pontiac, Mich. Detroit received permission to speak with San Francisco offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, the fifth candidate for the team's coaching job. Mornhinweg joins Lions head coach Gary Moeller, Tampa Bay assistant head coach Herman Edwards, Baltimore defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis and Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.
Lewis cannot be contacted until after the Ravens play the Giants in the Super Bowl.
Browns to interview Titans' assistant
Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee gave Cleveland permission to speak with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams about its head coaching job. The Browns, who fired Chris Palmer last week, are the second team in the past two weeks wanting to interview Williams. The same request was made by the Houston Texans expansion team.
Williams guided the Titans to the No. 1 ranking as the NFL's best defense in yards allowed last season, and they also set a club record with 55 sacks.
Arizona hires Olson as offensive coordinator
Tempe, Ariz. Arizona coach Dave McGinnis hired Rich Olson, former quarterbacks coach for Washington, as offensive coordinator Wednesday. Geep Chryst, who served as quarterbacks coach for Arizona in 1998, returns to that post after two seasons as offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers.
McGinnis also hired Jerry Sullivan as receivers coach.
Olson is a protege of former Redskins coach Norv Turner and Oregon State coach Dennis Erickson. McGinnis had talked to Turner about the offensive coordinator's job, but Turner took the coordinator's post at San Diego instead.