AP NEWS

Ex-Patriot Collins Cut by the Browns

March 7, 2019

Jamie Collins had flashes of brilliance with the Browns. Not nearly enough of them, though.

Cleveland released the veteran linebacker on Wednesday with two years remaining on his contract. Collins never lived up to high expectations with New England or the Browns, who were in line to pay him $10.5 million this season and $12.5 million in 2020.

By cutting Collins, the Browns will save $9.25 million in salary-cap space for 2019, leaving them with around $80 million to improve a roster that went 7-8-1 last season.

The 29-year-old Collins was acquired in a trade midway through the 2016 season from New England in exchange for a third-round draft choice. Collins made 30 starts for the Browns, with 204 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions.

Safety Darian Stewart is joining a crowded field of free agent safeties following his release from the Denver Broncos, where he won a Super Bowl ring.

BASEBALL

Manfred: No collusion

It’s not collusion, it’s a “distributional problem” that has shut dozens of baseball players out of the free agent market this offseason, commissioner Rob Manfred said.

Speaking to a group of Boston business executives, Manfred said the percentage of revenue going to the players hasn’t changed in the past 15 years or so. If players are unhappy about how it’s being spent, Manfred said, he’s happy to talk to them about solutions.

After years of growth, the total amount spent on player payroll dropped last year for the first time since 2010 and only the second time since 2002. What’s bothered the players, though, has been the slow market for free agents like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

In spring training action, the Pirates defeated the Red Sox, 6-1.

Colin Moran had two hits, drove in a run and scored twice for Pittsburgh. Boston managed just three hits off seven pitchers -- singles by Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts and Sandy Leon. ... -- New York Yankees ace Luis Severino expects to resume a throwing program in two weeks. Severino will miss his scheduled start on opening day on March 28 because of right shoulder inflammation.

SOCCER

Giant pay disparity

FIFA is awash with cash four years since police raided the homes and offices of soccer officials in a scandal that threatened its existence.

People with knowledge of FIFA’s finances tell AP that in the four-year period covering the 2018 World Cup, FIFA’s reserves soared to $2.74 billion and revenue rose to $6.4 billion.

But while the annual report underscores FIFA’s financial vitality, it also highlights the glaring disparity between men and women’s soccer.

Last summer’s World Cup is a good example: France banked $38 million from FIFA for winning the championship, but the women’s champion this July will earn just $4 million.