Santonio Holmes is sticking with the Jets. By remaining on the roster through the second day of the NFL’s waiver period Tuesday, the wide receiver will get $15.25 million in guaranteed money over the next two seasons. A clause in Holmes’s contract, signed last offseason, kicked in yesterday morning. Holmes’s future appeared murky with the Jets after a tumultuous season in which he feuded with quarterback Mark Sanchez and offensive linemen . . . The Bears hired Tim Holt as offensive line coach, taking over for Mike Tice, who was promoted to offensive coordinator after the departure of Mike Martz . . . Former offensive coordinator Al Saunders will remain on the Raiders coaching staff under new coach Dennis Allen as a senior offensive assistant . . . The Cardinals moved Mike McNulty to quarterbacks coach and hired longtime NFL quarterback Frank Reich to coach wide receivers . . . The Panthers re-signed long snapper J.J. Jansen to a four-year contract extension and linebacker Jason Phillips to a one-year extension.
Lowrie, Astros agree to $1.15m deal
Jed Lowrie and the Houston Astros avoided an arbitration hearing, agreeing to a $1.15 million, one-year contract. Lowrie asked for $1.5 million, while the Astros offered $900,000. The 27-year-old shortstop was acquired from the Red Sox Dec. 14 along with righthander Kyle Weiland in exchange for reliever Mark Melancon. Lowrie, a switch hitter who was eligible for arbitration for the first time, batted .252 with six homers and 36 RBIs in 88 games for the Red Sox last season. He played every infield position and made $450,000 . . . Shortstop Elvis Andrus and the Rangers finalized a $14.4 million, three-year contract . . . Righthander Brad Bergesen and the Orioles argued their cases in salary arbitration. Bergesen asked for a raise from $434,000 to $1.2 million and the Orioles argued he should be paid $800,000 . . . Russell Branyan agreed to a minor league contract with the Yankees and will try to win a bench job as a corner infielder during spring training . . . The Reds signed outfielder Ryan Ludwick to a one-year contract and lefthanded starter Jeff Francis to a minor league deal.
Billups vows return from Achilles’ tear
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Chauncey Billups will only watch as the Clippers continue their promising season without him. With his left leg encased in a plastic protective boot, Billups, 35, who tore his Achilles’ tendon, prematurely ending his first season with Los Angeles, said he won’t let it be his last. Billups’s season came to a stunning end in Orlando Monday night, when he crumpled to the floor without being touched. Tests confirmed the Achilles’ tear, which requires eight months of recovery time . . . Cavaliers star rookie guard Kyrie Irving, who has lived up to being the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, was kept out of last night’s game against the Clippers after suffering a concussion. There is no timetable for his return . . . Reigning WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings is staying with the Indiana Fever after signing a free agent contract . . . The Los Angeles Sparks signed four-time WNBA All-Star Alana Beard to a free agent deal.
N. Dakota defies NCAA over nickname
Colleges The University of North Dakota will resume using its contentious Fighting Sioux nickname, the school’s president Robert Kelley said, despite threats of sanctions and bans from postseason play from the NCAA, marking the latest twist in a protracted fight about a name that critics consider offensive. A state law repealed last year had required the university use its longtime nickname and logo that shows the profile of an American Indian warrior. But supporters of the name filed petitions late Tuesday demanding that the issue be put to a statewide vote . . . Memphis officially became a member of the Big East and will compete in all sports. The Tigers are the seventh school, the fourth from Conference USA, to sign up since December for future membership in the Big East and will begin competing in 2013.
Wings, Leafs in next Winter Classic
Miscellany A person familiar with the NHL’s plan said the Red Wings will play the Maple Leafs in the 2013 Winter Classic. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the league isn’t expected to announce the matchup until today. Earlier yesterday, the University of Michigan Board of Regents authorized the athletic department to seek a contract with the NHL that would allow the league to hold next year’s showcase at Michigan Stadium . . . The Flames re-signed defenseman Derek Smith to a $1.55 million, two-year contract. Smith is currently sidelined with a high ankle sprain . . . The Blue Jackets signed left wing Vinny Prospal to a one-year contract extension through next season. The 36-year-old Prospal signed with the Blue Jackets in July and has nine goals and 24 assists in 53 games . . . Top-seeded Maria Sharapova defeated Chanelle Scheepers, 6-3, 6-1, to reach the quarterfinals of the Open GDF Suez in Paris. American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands finished off Kristina Barrois with her 10th ace to secure a 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 win and American teenager Christina McHale edged Varvara Lepchenko, 6-4, 7-5 . . . French police raided the home of cycling great Jeannie Longo and arrested her husband and coach Patrice Ciprelli on suspicion that he bought doses of the banned performance-enhancer EPO.