Brady is named offensive player of the year

They used to play together in Boston, where they won a World Series. Now Johnny Damon, left, and Manny Ramirez are Rays.
They used to play together in Boston, where they won a World Series. Now Johnny Damon, left, and Manny Ramirez are Rays. (Chris O'meara)
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tom Brady tore up the NFL with his precision passing and dynamic guidance of the New England Patriots' offense.

That was in 2007, when he ran away with the Associated Press NFL offensive player of the year award.

Ditto for 2010.

Brady won the honor Tuesday for the second time in four seasons. The record-setting quarterback, who had a string of 355 passes without being intercepted, received 21 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. He easily beat Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick, who got 11 votes. . . .

The NFL is entitled to rights-fee payments from television networks during a work stoppage, according to a ruling by the sport's special master, the league announced Tuesday.

The players' union had filed a case with the special master, University of Pennsylvania law professor Stephen Burbank, challenging the structure of the league's TV contracts. The NFLPA contended the money provides the team owners with what amounts to a lockout fund because payments must be made during a work stoppage.

The union claimed a measure of victory in Burbank's ruling but acknowledged its plan to appeal.

Burbank is in charge of resolving disputes between the league and union that arise from their collective bargaining agreement. Any ruling by Burbank can be appealed to Minneapolis-based U.S. District Judge David S. Doty, who oversees the sport's labor deal.

The union filed a separate case with Burbank that alleges collusion by owners. That case has not been resolved. It accuses teams of improperly colluding last offseason to restrict players' salaries.

- Mark Maske


The Tampa Bay Rays are counting on Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon to help them remain competitive in baseball's toughest division.

The free agent outfielders officially became the newest additions to the defending AL East champions, signing one-year contracts to fill a couple of holes on a roster depleted by the departure of several key players, including all-star Carl Crawford. . . .

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