NFL Payrolls: Jets in First Place, Oilers in Last

The New York Jets had the highest player payroll, $12.8 million, and the Houston Oilers the lowest, $5.9 million, in the National Football League last season, according to a confidential report by the players' union, the Rocky Mountain News of Denver said Wednesday.

The figures showed that the Green Bay Packers had the second-highest player payroll, $11.3 million, followed by San Francisco, $11.2 million; New England, $10.8 million; Washington and Tampa Bay, $10.6 million each; Buffalo, $10.4 million; New Orleans, $10.1 million; Cincinnati and Dallas, $10 million each; Kansas City, $9.7 million; the Rams, $9.5 million; Detroit, $9.3 million; New York Giants, $9.1 million.

Next came Cleveland, $9 million; St. Louis, $8.7 million; Seattle, $8.6 million; the Raiders, $8.1 million; Pittsburgh, $7.9 million; Philadelphia and San Diego, $7.8 million each; Chicago, $7.6 million; Miami, $7.3 million; Atlanta and Indianapolis, $7.2 million each; Denver, $7.1 million, and Minnesota, $6.4 million.

The Buffalo Bills apparently have ended their bid to obtain quarterback Vince Ferragamo from the Rams. "There are obstacles that obviously can't be overcome," Buffalo Coach Kay Stephenson said. It was believed the Rams were seeking a second-round draft choice in 1986. The Bills reportedly were offering fourth- and fifth-round draft choices.

The Detroit Red Wings have signed left wing Warren Young of the Pittsburgh Penguins to the highest free-agent contract in National Hockey League history.

Young, 29, a free agent without compensation, signed a reported$1-million, four-year contract. He scored 40 goals and had 32 assists for the Penguins last season.

Hollywood Park officials, hoping to lure John Henry back from a nine-month layoff, have added a race to their schedule. The $100,000-added Vernon O. Underwood Handicap will be run at 1 1/8 miles July 21 on the turf course. Nominations will close Sunday.

The Milwaukee Bucks have prepared a brief to be filed in response to a lawsuit against them by the Clippers, who are trying to have last summer's trade for Marques Johnson nullified.

The Clippers sued last month to nullify the six-player deal they made with the Bucks. The Clippers said they would not have made the trade had they known that Johnson had once been treated for a drug problem. The Clippers are also trying to have NBA Commissioner David Stern disqualified as arbitrator of the case.

Negotiators for major league baseball players and owners met for more than three hours in New York to review the clubs' financial figures, then scheduled two more meetings. The union plans to set a strike date on the eve of Tuesday's All-Star game.

Management had claimed losses of $27 million to $43 million last year, but the players contend that the owners made as much as $10 million.

Race car driver John Paul Jr. faces up to five years in prison for his part in a marijuana smuggling ring under a plea agreement that was reached in a federal court in Jacksonville, Fla., a federal prosecutor said.

The agreement, signed by Paul in federal court before U.S. District Judge Susan Black, calls for him to plead guilty on Aug. 5 to a federal racketeering charge in exchange for the government's dropping three counts of a drug-conspiracy indictment and a marijuana-possession charge.

The United States Football League Players Assn. has filed a grievance on behalf of players for the Tampa Bay Bandits, who haven't been paid for their final regular-season game.

Names in the News

Roman Gomez of Belmont High, one of the nation's top prep distance runners, signed a letter of intent to attend USC. Gomez is a two-time state champion in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.

Ken Lindgren, assistant coach for the 1984 U.S. Olympic water polo team, was named director of aquatics at Cal State Long Beach.

Tom Massimino, 25, was named an assistant basketball coach at Bradley University. He is the oldest son of Villanova Coach Rollie Massimino.

Rollie Dotsch of the Birmingham Stallions was named the United States Football League's Coach of the Year by the Associated Press. The Stallions were 14-6 and won their conference title.

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