Morning State Sports Briefs: Packers will find themselves well under NFL salary capWisconsin Sports
--It appears that Green Bay Packers are at least a few million dollars under the 2012 salary cap at the moment.
GREEN BAY - It appears that Green Bay Packers are at least a few million dollars under the 2012 salary cap at the moment.
The NFL has not announced what the cap will be yet – but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel figures that it will be the same as last year, at 120-million dollars. The paper also cited league salary figures which show that the Packers have around $113-million dedicated to the this year’s cap. Green Bay has 63 players under contract. And if the Journal-Sentinel’s numbers are correct, it means the Packers will have around seven-million – plus whatever space they can free up – to sign the team’s top free agents including tight end Jermichael Finley, center Scott Wells, running back Ryan Grant, and corner Jarrett Bush.
Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be a guest analyst on NBC’s coverage of Sunday’s Super Bowl. He and Pittsburgh receiver Hines Ward will be part of the network’s six hours of pre-game programming that begins at noon on Sunday. Executive producer Sam Flood says both Rodgers and Ward will talk with Bob Costas about the teams’ last-minute planning as they’re going through it. Rodgers was in the players’ shoes a year ago when the Packers won Super Bowl-45, and Flood says he has great insight into the quarterback’s play and preparations. The New York Giants and New England Patriots will play for the NFL championship starting around 5:20 Sunday evening.
University of Wisconsin women’s hockey goal-tender Alex Rigsby has been named the WCHA’s defensive player-of-the-week. The sophomore posted her sixth shutout of the year last weekend, when the top-ranked Badgers swept a pair of home games against Bemidji State. Rigsby leads the nation with 24 victories, and she’s giving up just under one-and-a-half goals per game.
Former Milwaukee Brewers' closer Francisco Cordero is moving on to Toronto. He signed a one-year contract with the Blue Jays yesterday worth $4.5 million dollars. The 36-year-old Cordero pitched for one-and-a-half seasons in Milwaukee before he signed with Cincinnati as a free agent four years ago. He converted 37-of-43 save opportunities with the Reds last season, while holding opponents to a .198 batting average. Cordero is a 13-year Major League veteran who has also pitched for Detroit and Texas. He has 327 career saves in 397 chances, with an ERA of three-point-one-seven.
Brewers' center-fielder Nyjer Morgan was a hockey player in his previous life. And he showed off some of that prowess yesterday while practicing with his favorite NHL team, the San Jose Sharks. About 100 fans looked on as the 31-year-old Morgan showed off his stick handling and passing skills. He missed three shots before the goal-tender eased up on a fourth shot that entered the net. Morgan is from the San Francisco Bay area and still spends his off-seasons there. He grew up with a dream of playing hockey, and moved to Canada at age 16 with high hopes. Morgan played seven games with Regina of the junior Western League in 2000 and had two goals. At age 20, he decided on a baseball career. Sharks' coach Todd McLellan said Morgan's passion would make him a good hockey player but quote, "He wouldn't be going in a shoot-out." Morgan deflected a reporter's question of what the Brewers might have thought about yesterday's workout. The Brewers were not happy with starter Zack Greinke after he got hurt playing basketball at the start of spring training last year. The injury kept Greinke out for the first month of the season.
The Marquette University women's basketball team has a four-game losing streak, after falling to Cincinnati at home last night 64-52. Jeanise Randolph put the Bearcats in front for good with a put-back midway through the first half. Cincinnati shot 44-percent from three-point range, hitting 7-of-16 from beyond-the-arc. Marquette committed 18 turnovers, which led to 19 points for Cincinnati. Dayeesha Hollins scored 22 points for the Bearcats, who returned to .500 overall at 11-11 and improved to 2-7 in the Big East. Katherine Plouffe had 12 points and 13 rebounds for Marquette, which fell to 3-6 in the conference and 12-10 overall. The Golden Eagles will host Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The UW-Milwaukee women lost at home to Seattle, 63-56. The game was tied with two minutes left. But the Panthers failed to score the rest of the way, while Seattle made 7-of-8 free throws. Kacie Sowell scored 18 points for Seattle, which improved to 13-9. Freshman Ashley Green had 14 points and a season-high six steals for U-W Milwaukee, which dropped to 6-14 overall. The Panthers' next game is on Saturday night at 10th-ranked UW-Green Bay. Tonight, the Wisconsin women host Iowa. And the UW-Parkside women and men are at home against Bellarmine.
In men's college basketball...
UW-Whitewater 71, UW-La Crosse 61
UW-Stevens Point 70, UW-Platteville 54
UW-Eau Claire 81, UW-Oshkosh 74
UW-Superior 75, UW-Stout 64
In women's college basketball...
UW-Stevens Point 84, UW-Platteville 53
UW-Eau Claire 68, UW-Oshkosh 49
UW-Stout 60, UW-Superior 56
UW-Whitewater 72, UW-La Crosse 62
Lakeland 77, Wisconsin Lutheran 62
Concordia-Mequon 79, Alverno 62
Milwaukee School of Engineering 69, Benedictine 59
Carthage 79, North Park 47
In Wisconsin girls' high school basketball...
Whitefish Bay Dominican 65, Milwaukee Messmer 25