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Originally published Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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NFL chief Roger Goodell has cut pay 20 percent

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is taking a pay cut and the league staff has been trimmed by 15 percent because of the reeling economy, the...

NEW YORK — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is taking a pay cut and the league staff has been trimmed by 15 percent because of the reeling economy, the NFL confirmed Wednesday.

The league said its staff cut, announced more than two months ago, has resulted in a reduction of 169 jobs through buyouts, layoffs and other staff reductions. That amounts to just over 15 percent of the league's workforce of 1,100.

Goodell, meanwhile, voluntarily took a cut of 20 to 25 percent from the $11 million salary and bonuses he was to receive in the 2008 fiscal year, which ends March 31. He and other league executives are freezing their salaries for 2009.

Teams also are reducing expenses. The league estimates 10 to 12 teams have laid off about 200 people in the past few months.

The league is worried about the effect the downturn will have in many areas, notably on sponsors, with the auto industry hit especially hard. While television ratings were high last season and television contracts are in effect for another three seasons, car companies are among the biggest TV advertisers.

NFL officials, including Goodell, have said they won't know the effect of the economic downturn on the league until later this year, and perhaps not even then. One factor is how well season tickets sell when they go on the market this spring — three-quarters of teams are freezing ticket prices for this coming season at their 2008 levels.

Bucs dump veterans

Eleven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks was released by the Buccaneers, part of a massive purge of veterans to help Tampa Bay get ready for free agency.

Cut along with Brooks, 35, were former Seahawks receiver Joey Galloway, 37; running back Warrick Dunn, 34; receiver Ike Hilliard, 32; and linebacker Cato June, 29.

Free agency begins Friday. Around the league, other veterans released included former Seahawks receiver D.J. Hackett by Carolina, quarterback Trent Green and receiver Drew Bennett by St. Louis, receiver Laveranues Coles by the New York Jets and safety Will Demps by Houston.

Hackett was signed to a two-year, $3.5 million free-agent deal before last season but was plagued by injuries and never challenged for the No. 2 receiver job. He finished with just 13 receptions for 181 yards.

Notes

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• The New York Giants signed halfback Brandon Jacobs to a four-year, $25 million contract, less than two weeks after putting a franchise tag on him. The deal includes $13 million in guarantees. Jacobs will earn $15 million in the first two years.

• Linebacker Channing Crowder signed a multiyear contract with the Miami Dolphins, a surprising move after negotiations appeared at a stalemate only a few days ago.

• San Diego re-signed offensive lineman Kynan Forney to a two-year deal.

• Prosecutors in Miami dropped charges of resisting arrest and other crimes against Jonathan Vilma after the New Orleans Saints linebacker agreed to give $1,000 to charity and clear up outstanding tickets.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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NFL, union resume labor talks at mediator's office

League, players still almost $800 million apart on revenue haring

Some ease seen in money issue

Union, league negotiators to resume talks Monday | NFL

No new deal in NFL labor talks; deadline extended

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