Reports: Haynesworth to test free-agent market
Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has decided to test the free-agent market, according to various media reports. The NFL Network first reported that the two-time All Pro will become a free agent after weeks of discussions between his agent, Chad Speck, and the Titans. Free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 27. Haynesworth led the Titans with a career-high 8 1/2 sacks last season.
More Titans: : Tennesee agreed to terms with kicker Rob Bironas on a multiyear contract.
Patriots: : Quarterback Tom Brady says his recovery from knee surgery remains on schedule and he doesn't see any reason he won't be ready for the 2009 opener. But Brady, speaking at a charity event in Allston, Mass., stopped short of predicting when exactly he'll return to the field.
Panthers: : Julius Peppers still wants out of Carolina, but a source told the Associated Press he'll agree to be traded only to four teams - one of which is the Cowboys - further complicating the Panthers' efforts to get compensation for the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end.
Obituary: : Brad Van Pelt, a five-time Pro Bowl player with the Giants who helped form one of the NFL's best linebacking corps in the early 1980s, has died. He was 57. Van Pelt was found dead Tuesday by his fiancee at his home in Owosso, Mich. He died from an apparent heart attack.
Cardinals: : Arizona put a non-exclusive franchise tag on linebacker Karlos Dansby. The move guarantees Dansby a salary of at least $9.7 million next season. ... Linebackers coach Bill Davis was promoted to defensive coordinator.
Et cetera: : Culver City, Calif., officers who arrested Bills running back Marshawn Lynch last week for possessing a loaded gun decided to search him after noticing the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle he occupied, police said. ... The Chargers placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on running back-kick returner Darren Sproles. ... The Buccaneers placed the franchise tag on leading receiver Antonio Bryant.
Knee surgery to sideline McGrady for season
Houston Rockets star Tracy McGrady will have surgery on his left knee and miss the rest of the season. The forward said on his Web site yesterday that the pain has been persistent and he will have microfracture surgery "immediately." Houston coach Rick Adelman lashed out at McGrady after practice yesterday for not informing the team of his intentions. Adelman said he learned McGrady was out for the season when he read it in a newspaper in the morning. McGrady was averaging 15.6 points and 4.4 rebounds this season, well below his career averages, and was shooting a career-low 38.8 percent from the field.
Thunder-Hornets: : Oklahoma City rescinded its trade with the New Orleans, sending center Tyson Chandler back to the Hornets. Chandler failed a physical yesterday, and the Thunder backed out of the deal that sent Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith and second-round pick DeVon Hardin to New Orleans. .
Bulls-Kings: : Chicago acquired center Brad Miller and John Salmons from Sacramento in exchange for four players, including forwards Drew Gooden and Andres Nocioni. Sacramento also will get Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons in the deal, which will clear well over $10 million in salary cap room next season for the Kings, the NBA's worst team. Sacramento is expected to trade Ruffin to the Blazers for forward Ike Diogu.
Wade: : Dwyane Wade sued his estranged wife, Siohvaughn Wade, and two of her lawyers over accusations the Heat star contracted a sexually transmitted disease through an extramarital affair. In the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, Wade is seeking at least $50,000 in damages from each defendant.
Et cetera: : Forward Zach Randolph was suspended two games without pay by the NBA for striking the Suns' Louis Amundson in the face Tuesday. ... The Lakers traded seldom-used center Chris Mihm to the Grizzlies, receiving a future draft pick.
On the court: : Sebastian Telfair had 30 points and eight assists, and Minnesota spoiled Jermaine O'Neal's debut in Miami by hitting a season-high 14 three-pointers and beating the Heat, 109-104. O'Neal - who sustained a right eye injury in the third quarter and missed 13 minutes - had 13 in his first game since being acquired from Toronto last week. ... Chris Paul had 36 points and 10 assists, and host New Orleans handed Orlando its worst loss of the season, 117-85. ... Jason Kidd had 23 points and 10 assists to lead Dallas past visiting New Jersey, 113-98. ... Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) had 26 points and 14 rebounds to lead Denver past host Philadelphia, 101-89. ... LeBron James had 20 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in visiting Cleveland's 93-76 win over Toronto. ... Gerald Wallace had 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as host Charlotte defeated Indiana, 103-94. ... Kirk Hinrich scored a season-high 31 points and Chicago beat host Milwaukee, 113-104.
Bankins to oversee UM's special teams, tight ends
Maryland hired Charles Bankins to run its special teams and oversee tight ends. Bankins most recently served as running backs coach and special teams coordinator at the University of Richmond. Bankins, who was a running back at James Madison, was set to take over as Hampton's offensive coordinator before leaving for Richmond in 2007. The Leonardtown native served as assistant special teams coach for the St. Louis Rams in 2005.
NHL: : Hooked and jabbed off his skates as he headed toward the net, reigning league Most Valuable Player Alex Ovechkin slid on his right side toward the crease and had the presence of mind to poke the puck under the right pad of goaltender Carey Price. Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals went on to a 4-3 shootout victory over the visiting Montreal Canadiens. ... Capitals defenseman Mike Green changed his mind and said he will donate to the Hall of Fame the stick he used during his eight-game goal-scoring streak, the longest by a defenseman in NHL history.
Golf: : Tiger Woods is "a few weeks" away from a return to the PGA Tour and could decide within days where that return will take place, caddie Steve Williams said.Varsity: : Marty Meloy, who has been on a leave of absence since the fall, will retire as Gilman's baseball coach after 22 years. Athletic director Tim Holley will take over.
Women's college lacrosse:: Grace Gavin had five goals and an assist to lead visiting Loyola (1-0) to a 15-7 victory over Stony Brook (0-2) in the head coaching debut of former Terps star Jen Adams. ... Jessica Chmielewski (four goals, two assists) led Salisbury (1-0) to an 18-8 victory over Christopher Newport (0-1), the Sea Gulls' 23rd consecutive regular-season victory.
Cycling: : Lance Armstrong's time-trial bike that disappeared from the Team Astana truck after he used it before Saturday's Stage 1 of the Tour of California has been found. A local resident brought the custom bike, worth about $10,000, to police headquarters yesterday.
Obituary: : Mike Whitmarsh, a 1996 Olympic silver medalist in beach volleyball, killed himself through carbon monoxide poisoning in the garage of a friend's home in Solana Beach, Calif., officials said. He was 46.
Horse racing: : Laurel Park jockey Jonathan Joyce, who had just three first-place finishes in 47 starts at the track's winter meet and had his last winning ride Jan. 15, rode five mounts to victory yesterday, including Dr. Stick, who paid $20.20 in the fifth race.