Jason Sehorn was released by the New York Giants yesterday after the veteran cornerback refused to accept a pay cut of more than $3 million for next season.

With a $4.3 million salary scheduled this season and a $1 million roster bonus due on March 10, Sehorn's status had been in question since the 31-year-old lost his starting job to second-year pro Will Peterson last season.

Sehorn and the Giants had talks in recent weeks about reducing his salary this season to $1 million, but the Giants refused to guarantee that the nine-year veteran would not be cut before training camp.

Neither Sehorn nor his agent, Kyle Rote Jr., was available to comment.

Sehorn scored on a spectacular 32-yard interception return in a 2000 playoff game against the Eagles, a play in which he tipped the ball while diving, caught it and then got up and ran into the end zone. He also returned an onside kick for a touchdown that season.

"The interception he made against Philly in the 2000 playoffs will always stand as one of the greatest individual athletic plays I have ever seen," Coach Jim Fassel said. "I wish Jason nothing but the best."

In making the move now, Sehorn will count $8 million against New York's salary cap this season, but he will be off the cap next year. Sehorn had three years remaining on a six-year deal that included a $10 million signing bonus. . . .

The Atlanta Falcons acquired Peerless Price in a trade with the Buffalo Bills, landing a big-name receiver to go with quarterback Michael Vick.

The Falcons were desperate to give Vick a deep receiving threat, giving up their first-round pick -- No. 23 overall -- to the Bills. Buffalo didn't have a first-round pick because of a deal made last spring to acquire quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

Price had 94 receptions, seventh in the NFL, for 1,252 yards and nine touchdowns. During his four pro seasons, he has accumulated 232 receptions for 3,302 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Auto Racing

Hello, Newman

Ryan Newman was the fastest at Atlanta Motor Speedway, winning his first pole of the season after topping the Winston Cup circuit last year. Newman edged Bill Elliott, who nipped him for the pole here last spring.

"It doesn't matter who we beat, as long as we beat everybody," Newman said.

Newman, 25, posted a lap of 191.417 mph on the 11/2-mile quad-oval to take the top spot for Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. It was the eighth pole of his career. The first came as he ran a handful of races in 2001. Last year, he set a rookie record with six poles. . . .

Michael Schumacher began his attempt to win a fourth consecutive Australian Grand Prix by taking the pole in Melbourne for the season-opening Formula One race. Schumacher raced around the 3.295-mile Albert Park circuit in 1 minute 27.173 seconds. That was .245 seconds faster than Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello's 1:27.418.

Soccer

Cup to South America

The 2014 World Cup will be held in South America, returning to the continent for the first time since 1978.

The United States, which staged the World Cup in 1994, had intended to bid for the 2014 tournament. The U.S. Soccer Federation will now focus on bidding for the 2018 World Cup.

Germany will host the 2006 World Cup, and the 2010 tournament will be in Africa, with South Africa the favorite heading into next year's vote by FIFA's executive committee. The World Cup was held in Asia for the first time last year, with Japan and South Korea as co-hosts. . . .

The Columbus Crew signed veteran U.S. national team player Frankie Hejduk. Hejduk, 28, is the only U.S. player to appear in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics and the last two World Cups.

Locally

Boxing Tonight

Tonight, in the first of a planned series of monthly fight cards at Washington's Lincoln Theatre, Mitchellville's Derrell Coley (36-2-2) and promoter P.J. Augustine hope to jump-start Coley's career. He takes on Anthony Ivory (27-62-4) in an eight-round middleweight fight.

Hyattsville 130-pound champion Isra Girgrah (23-3-2) will fight Brenda Bell-Drexel in an eight-round co-feature. D.C. natives James Baker, Darryl Tyson and Lisa Foster are also on the card.

Skiing

Miller Crashes

American Bode Miller crashed out on his first run in a World Cup slalom race today in Shigakogen, Japan, seriously damaging his bid to capture the overall title.

Miller lost his balance early in the race and did not finish. Austria's Rainer Schoenfelder led after the first run with a time of 51.09 seconds followed by Finland's Kalle Palander, who posted a time of 51.17.

Croatia's Ivica Kostelic, who leads the overall slalom standings, posted a time of 52.01 to finish sixth after the first race. Yesterday's giant slalom was canceled because of poor weather and visibility wasn't good for today's race, which was delayed. Miller trails Austria's Stephan Eberharter by 93 points in the overall standings but failed to close the gap in Japan. Shigakogen is the second-to-last event of the circuit.

The final is scheduled for March 12-16 in Lillehammer, Norway.

Giants' Jason Sehorn, who lost starting cornerback job last season, declined major pay cut.