NFL Notes: Lions owner William Clay Ford dies at 88

NFL Notes: Lions owner William Clay Ford dies at 88
March 9, 2014, 4:00 pm
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DETROIT -- William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandchild of automotive pioneer Henry Ford and owner of the Detroit Lions, has died. He was 88.

Ford Motor Co. said in a statement Sunday that Ford died of pneumonia at his home in Grosse Pointe, Mich. Ford helped steer the family business for more than five decades. He bought one of his own, the NFL franchise in the Motor City, a half-century ago.

He served as an employee and board member of the automaker for more than half of its 100-year history.

"My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community," William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co. and Lions vice chairman, said in a statement. "He also was a wonderful family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, yet he will continue to inspire us all," (see full story).

Jets: New York releases CB Antonio Cromartie
NEW YORK -- The New York Jets released cornerback Antonio Cromartie on Sunday, a decision that saves the team millions of dollars under its salary cap.

Cromartie was entering the final year of his four-year deal and was scheduled to cost the Jets' cap $14.98 million this season -- including a $5 million roster bonus that would kick in later this month. There's a chance the Jets could bring back Cromartie at a lesser salary, unless the two-time Pro Bowl selection chooses to explore free agency.

The 29-year-old Cromartie is coming off perhaps his worst season as he struggled with a hip ailment for most of the year while continuing to play as the Jets' No. 1 cornerback.

"I just had a bad year," he said during an interview with NBC Sports Network in January. "That falls heavily on me and no one else," (see full story).

Packers: CB Sam Shields re-signs with Green Bay
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Sam Shields has agreed to re-sign with the Packers, keeping one of the top free-agent cornerbacks this offseason off the market.

Shields' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed the four-year NFL veteran agreed to a four-year, $39 million deal with a $12.5 million signing bonus. Shields on his Twitter account Saturday posted that he was "happy to be back with my family."

Undrafted out of Miami in 2010, Shields has emerged to combine with Tramon Williams to provide a solid corner tandem in Green Bay. He had 61 tackles with four interceptions and 16 passes defended last season (see full story).