Peterson due big pay hikeFormer Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson performed extraordinarily during his first two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. And the NFL’s leading rusher will compensated accordingly beginning in 2010. During his first two seasons at Minnesota, Peterson rushed for 3,101 yards, including a league-leading 1,760 yards last year. And so far, he’s only hit the Vikings’ salary cap for $4.4 million. However, the Vikings will begin paying for Peterson’s previous success beginning in 2010 due to performance-based escalators in his contract. According to a source, Peterson will earn an additional $2.5 million in base salary in 2010, lifting his salary-cap hit to $5.7 million. And he’s already boosted his 2011 base salary to $10.7 million. That will translate into a hit of roughly $12.8 million that year. Elsewhere in the NFL: →Defensive tackle Tank Johnson agreed to a contract with Cincinnati. The 27-year-old free agent had 33 tackles and three sacks in two seasons with Dallas.
Aikman: Dallas made right moveTroy Aikman says the Cowboys made the right move by getting rid of Terrell Owens. Now he’s curious to see whether they also were right about making Roy Williams the new top target for Tony Romo. Dallas gave its first- , third- and sixth-round picks in the upcoming draft to Detroit to get Williams midway through last season. He hardly looked a guy who led the NFC in yards receiving two years earlier, producing fewer than 200 yards and a single touchdown in 10 games. "If Roy Williams doesn’t turn out to be the player that they thought he would be when they made the trade, I think this would be one of the biggest busts in the history of the league,” Aikman said. The Fox analyst and former Dallas quarterback said Williams’ performance will answer questions about the receiver — and about the Cowboys’ front office, which also gave the former Texas star a contract extension.
Pitt’s Dixon wins Naismith AwardPitt coach Jamie Dixon has been named the Naismith men’s coach of the year after leading the Panthers to a school-record 31 wins and the NCAA Tournament regional finals. The sixth-year head coach also guided Pitt to its first top seed in the tourney and the school’s first No. 1 ranking in the AP Top 25. The Panthers fell short of the Final Four after a loss to Villanova on a last-second layup by Scottie Reynolds. Other finalists were Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel, LSU’s Trent Johnson and Kansas’ Bill Self.
Briefly ...Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks will submit his name for the NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent. Meeks, a junior, averaged 23.7 points for the Wildcats last season. ... Michael Jordan’s youngest son says he’ll play basketball at Central Florida. Marcus Jordan, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior guard, led Chicago Whitney Young to the the Illinois Class 4A title ... Lance Armstrong is defending himself against suggestions he misbehaved during a recent drug test. The cycling great said in a statement he did not try to evade a March 17 test in which a hair sample was collected. ... Hall of Famer John Elway’s son is leaving the Arizona State football program. However, Jack Elway plans to remain a student at the school. From wire reports