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Originally published March 9, 2014 at 7:50 PM | Page modified March 9, 2014 at 10:26 PM

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New York Jets cut cornerback Antonio Cromartie

The New York Jets cut ties with their top cornerback, Antonio Cromartie, and thus saved millions of dollars under their salary cap.

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Jets cut cornerback Cromartie

The New York Jets cut ties with their top cornerback — and saved millions of dollars under their salary cap.

Antonio Cromartie, who was entering the final season of his four-year contract, was released Sunday. He was scheduled to cost the Jets’ cap $14.98 million this season, including a $5 million roster bonus that would have kicked in later this month.

With the move, New York created about $9.5 million in cap space. The salary cap is $133 million. There is a chance the Jets could bring back three-time Pro Bowl selection Cromartie, 29, at a lesser salary.

Cromartie is coming off perhaps his worst season, as he struggled with a hip ailment while continuing to play as the Jets’ No. 1 cornerback.

“I just had a bad year,” he said in January. “That falls heavily on me and no one else.”

Jets coach Rex Ryan called Cromartie “one of the finest athletes I’ve ever coached.”

Mendenhall, 26, decides to retire

Running back Rashard Mendenhall is retiring at age 26.

Agent Mike McCartney confirmed via Twitter that Mendenhall had decided to end his playing career after six pro seasons, all but one of them with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mendenhall gained 4,326 yards in his career, averaging 3.9 yards per carry.

After signing a free-agent contract with Arizona, he was hampered by a toe injury much of last season. He was able to finish with a team-high 687 yards on 217 carries.

Report: Vikings to keep Griffen

The Minnesota Vikings have taken a potential free agent off the market before it opens Tuesday, reportedly agreeing to terms on a five-year contract with 26-year-old defensive end Everson Griffen that features $20 million guaranteed and a maximum value of $42.5 million.

A different source, also speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press the Vikings agreed to terms on a one-year deal with middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, 28, who played for the Arizona Cardinals last season after starting his career with Minnesota.

Shields to remain with Packers

Cornerback Sam Shields has agreed to re-sign with the Green Bay Packers. Shields, 26, gets a four-year, $39 million contract with a $12.5 million signing bonus.


Manchester City loses in FA Cup

Second-tier Wigan stunned Manchester City for the second straight year in England’s FA Cup, beating the Premier League team 2-1 to reach the semifinals and stay on course to retain the trophy.

Wigan will face Premier League squad Arsenal, which has become the favorite to win the Cup. In the other semifinal, Sheffield United will play Hull.

A week earlier, Manchester City won the League Cup final 3-1 over Sunderland.

Chivas USA wins MLS match

Bobby Burling headed home Mauro Rosales’ corner kick in the 88th minute, and Chivas USA beat the Chicago Fire 3-2 in Carson, Calif., in the Major League Soccer opener for both teams.

Rosales spent the previous three seasons with Sounders FC.


Lundqvist posts 300th victory

Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers earned his 300th league victory and 49th shutout in a 3-0 decision over the visiting Detroit Red Wings.

Lundqvist made 30 saves. He is one victory from tying Mike Richter’s franchise record and matched Ed Giacomin for the team mark in shutouts.

“It’s a great feeling to be up there with those guys,” Lundqvist, 32, said after his fourth shutout this season. “This organization has been around for so long, so to be up there with them, it’s very special, and I am proud just thinking about it.”


Ethiopians sweep L.A. Marathon

Amane Gobena, a 31-year-old Ethiopian woman, won the Los Angeles Marathon in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 37 seconds.

Gobena crossed the finish line 41 seconds ahead of the men’s champion, fellow Ethiopian Gebo Burka, and won a $50,000 bonus for being the first elite runner to finish. The women started 17:41 ahead of the men.

Gobena also earned a $25,000 first prize as top woman.

“I’m building a house, and definitely that home will be paid off,” she said through an interpreter.

Burka won in 2:10:37.


• A U.S. quartet set an indoor world record in the 4x400-meter relay at the world championships in Sopot, Poland.

Kyle Clemons, David Verburg,Kind Butler III and anchor runner Calvin Smith won in 3 minutes, 2.13 seconds, cutting 0.70 seconds off a record set by another American relay team at the 1999 world indoors.

• Four-time champ Jeff King took a razor-thin lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, departing the Koyuk checkpoint a minute earlier than Aliy Zirkle — the runner-up the last two years — on Alaska’s wind-scoured western coast.

King rested his 12-dog team at the checkpoint for 3 hours and 42 minutes, while Zirkle and her 11 dogs took a break for 3:44. They are on a 48-mile journey to the next checkpoint of Elim, 123 miles from the finish line in Nome.

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