Lions cut draft bust Rogers, No. 2 pick in 2003

Updated: September 3, 2006, 4:17 PM ET
Associated Press

 Detroit Lions

Rogers released
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Charles Rogers was cut by the Detroit Lions on Saturday, a mere three years after they drafted the receiver second overall.

His career in Detroit ended with just 36 receptions for 440 yards and four touchdowns along with two broken collarbones and a four-game suspension.

Clayton's take
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First-year coach Rod Marinelli was unimpressed by Rogers' work ethic and production during training camp, when he was slowed by a sore knee. The new staff also did not have a history with Rogers like team president Matt Millen, who drafted the former Michigan State star and gave him a $14.2 million signing bonus.

Rogers simply wasn't deemed good enough to make Marinelli's team, which is valuing hard work over talent.

"We picked the men that are right for this football team," Marinelli said. "It's behind us. I wish him the very best. We just move on."

Marinelli said Rogers didn't show up Saturday morning at the team's practice facility in Allen Park. Marinelli said director of pro personnel Sheldon White left two messages for Rogers and informed his agent, Kevin Poston, of the team's decision.

Poston said he can start finding a new home for the receiver Sunday if he is not picked up on waivers with his current contract.

"After 24 hours, we will start contacting teams and I'm sure teams will be contacting us," Poston told The Associated Press on Saturday morning. "He's a 25-year-old receiver with a lot of talent."

A message seeking comment was left on Rogers' cell phone.

Dolphins let Marcus Vick go, keep Russell instead
MIAMI -- Undrafted rookie Marcus Vick was among 21 players who were released or had their contracts terminated Saturday by the Miami Dolphins, who kept journeyman Cliff Russell as a fifth receiver instead.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins reduced their roster to 52 players, one below the NFL limit, leaving room to acquire a running back to replace suspended backup Sammy Morris. Miami plays the league opener Thursday at Pittsburgh.

Vick was trying to make the transition to receiver after an abbreviated, turbulent college career as a quarterback at Virginia Tech. In four exhibition games, he caught five passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. He also returned punts and kickoffs, and in the final preseason game he took six snaps at quarterback.

But coach Nick Saban opted to keep Russell, who has three receptions in four NFL seasons. He played in two games for Miami last year on special teams.

The Dolphins waived injured Kelly Campbell, who caught 57 passes the past three seasons with Minnesota but was hobbled for most of training camp by a chronic quadriceps injury.

Staley makes Steelers; four draft picks cut
PITTSBURGH -- Duce Staley made the Pittsburgh Steelers' 53-man roster Saturday despite an uneven preseason.

 Pittsburgh Steelers

Staley dropped to No. 3 on the depth chart at running back and may not dress for some early-season games.

Staley's roster status was in doubt -- even coach Bill Cowher said so -- after the three-time 1,000-yard rusher with the Eagles averaged 2.2 yards per carry during exhibition play. The Steelers showed their concern at the position by trading Friday with New England for rookie Patrick Cobbs.

But Cowher recalled Saturday how injuries briefly left the Steelers with only one healthy running back last season, even when they were carrying longtime star Jerome Bettis in addition to starter Willie Parker, Staley and Verron Haynes.

"We've got to be able to use these guys to where they're not going to be hit out by November and December," Cowher said. "It's very important that we're able to keep these guys fresh. It's a big key for us, a team that runs the football."

Titans keep Collins and Volek, cut Walter Payton's son
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans decided Saturday to protect themselves -- for now -- by keeping both veteran quarterbacks Billy Volek and Kerry Collins on the roster, instead releasing Matt Mauck.

 Tennessee Titans

They also cut running back Jarrett Payton, son of the late Hall of Fame back Walter Payton.

Volek had not been happy since the Titans signed Collins on Monday. Asked if Volek's situation might change, coach Jeff Fisher said rookie Vince Young will be their No. 2 quarterback, with a decision on who starts Sept. 10 against the New York Jets coming later this week.

The Titans trimmed 22 players, with the biggest cuts receiver Tyrone Calico, a second-round pick in 2003 who never lived up to the promise of his 6-foot-4 size and 4.34-second speed in the 40 because of injuries, and fullback Troy Fleming, a sixth-round pick in 2004 out of Tennessee.

Of the 22 players released, four were draft picks, including two from this year's class of 10: fifth-round pick linebacker Terna Nande and seventh-round running back Quinton Ganther. Nande hoped an NFL job might help him bring his mother home from Nigeria.

They also cut tight ends Ben Hall and Jamie Petrowski, center Joel Rodriguez, guards Cody Douglas and Mike Erickson, offensive tackle Brad Rhoades, receiver Grant Mattos, defensive ends Sean Conover, Tim Thompson and Copeland Bryan, defensive tackles Jeff Littlejohn and Chris Herring, and defensive backs Keon Raymond and Antoine Harris.

Texans cut RB Smith, 18 others
HOUSTON -- Antowain Smith looked good in Houston's last preseason game, but in the end the Texans chose youth over experience when they cut the 34-year-old running back.

 Houston Texans

Houston released 18 other players, but still must cut two more to get to 53-man limit by the NFL deadline on Saturday.

Coach Gary Kubiak said releasing Smith was a tough decision but they felt rookie Chris Taylor could be more valuable to the team.

"But the bottom line was that it was a decision about youth and about Chris' ability to become a returner, which is something we think he can do in this league," Kubiak said.

Browns release running back Suggs
CLEVELAND -- It was a busy day for the Browns, who made 22 roster moves to get down to the 53-player limit.

 Cleveland Browns

Running back Lee Suggs, Cleveland's leading rusher in 2004 but slowed by injuries throughout his career, was waived. The club tried to trade Suggs last month, but the deal was voided and he returned when the New York Jets said the 26-year-old failed their physical.

Coach Romeo Crennel said Suggs' medical history had no bearing on the decision.

"If that had been a major factor, he would have been cut last year," Crennel said.

The Browns also placed on injured reserve running back William Green, who led them to the playoffs as a rookie and has overcome personal problems. Green may stay on IR and be paid for the season, but, if the club works out a settlement, he'll be cut and could re-sign with Cleveland or elsewhere.

With Suggs and Green gone, second-year back Jason Wright will back up starter Reuben Droughns.

Wide receiver Frisman Jackson and cornerback Pete Hunter also had their contracts terminated.

Rookie nose tackle Babtunde Oshinowo, a sixth-round draft pick, was also waived, but the Browns might try to keep him on their practice squad.

Seahawks cut receiver, returner Warrick
KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks released veteran receiver and punt returner Peter Warrick on Saturday, ending for now the former fourth-overall draft choice's latest attempt to jump start his flagging career.

 Seattle Seahawks

Warrick, Cincinnati's first-round pick in 2000 whom the Bengals cut last preseason, had a nagging leg injury throughout 2005 that kept him out of Seattle's plans. But he became the Seahawks' punt returner in last January's NFC championship game, after Jimmy Williams fumbled during an opening-round playoff win.

Warrick also returned punts in the Super Bowl and then signed a one-year contract. But he spent most of the preseason on the back half of the team's receiving rotation. Then, in Thursday's exhibition finale, Williams replaced Warrick as punt returner and had three returns for 46 yards -- including one for 18 yards.

Seattle's special teams were among its weakest areas last season.

The Seahawks also waived safety Etric Pruitt, who was forced into last February's Super Bowl because of injury and then misplayed two long Steelers touchdowns.

Colts send veteran QB King, 24 others packing
INDIANAPOLIS -- Veteran quarterback Shaun King and three former draft picks -- defensive tackle Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns, defensive end Jonathan Welsh and defensive back Von Hutchins -- were among 25 players released by the Indianapolis Colts.

 Indianapolis Colts

The Colts were required to trim their roster from 75 to the NFL regular-season limit of 53 by Saturday afternoon but waited until Sunday to announce the cuts.

Indy also claimed two players -- defensive lineman Dan Klecko and running back De De Dorsey off waivers. Klecko was cut by New England after playing four seasons with the Patriots. Dorsey was cut by the Cincinnati Bengals.

King, who started his career in Tampa Bay with Colts Tony Dungy, took most of the preseason snaps for the Colts. But the team decided to keep only two quarterbacks on the roster -- two-time MVP Peyton Manning and backup Jim Sorgi, who did not play in the final two preseason games because of a sore shoulder.

Buccaneers retain Boston, cut WR Shepherd
TAMPA, Fla. -- David Boston took another important step in his bid to overcome knee injuries that sidelined him most of the past two seasons, surviving final cuts Saturday to make the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 53-man roster.

 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The former Pro Bowl receiver signed with the Bucs in May and impressed coach Jon Gruden with a solid training camp capped by a six-catch performance in Tampa Bay's preseason finale at Houston.

"David worked very hard, even before he came to us, to give himself a chance to get back," Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said, adding that the Bucs think he has the capability to become a dominant player again.

Boston was one of the NFL's top receivers when he had 98 receptions for 1,598 yards and seven TDs with Arizona in 2001, however injuries and suspensions derailed a career that also included stints with San Diego and Miami.

The 6-foot-2, 228-pounder was limited to five games over the past two years with the Dolphins because of two separate knee injuries that required surgery. He's one of seven receivers Gruden retained in the final cuts.

Receiver Edell Shepherd, who saw considerable action last season as a reserve, was among 21 players released to trim the squad to 53. Offensive tackle Torrin Tucker was placed on injured reserve, meaning he'll miss the season.

Dayne, Watts cut by Broncos
DENVER -- Running back Ron Dayne and wide receiver Darius Watts left team headquarters Saturday saying they'd been told they wouldn't make the Broncos' 53-man roster.

 Denver Broncos

"I kind of understand. Once I got hurt, the other guys stepped up," said Dayne, who began training camp as the starting tailback but quickly was surpassed by undrafted rookie Mike Bell and then suffered turf toe in the preseason opener and didn't play again.

Dayne, who won the Heisman Trophy at Wisconsin in 1999 and finished his career as the NCAA's all-time leading rusher, missed 12 days of practices and the final three exhibition games, sealing his fate. In his absence, Bell, Cedric Cobbs and Tatum Bell all performed well.

Dayne, who won the Heisman Trophy at Wisconsin in 1999, when he finished his career as the NCAA's all-time leading rusher, finished with just 12 yards on five carries in the preseason.

Watts' departure was more of a surprise. The Broncos praised him all offseason for his improved play and he was in position to serve as the third or fourth wide receiver following Ashley Lelie's trade to Atlanta.

Watts, a second-round pick out of Marshall in 2004 whose career was marked more by his big drops than his sensational skills, said his stock might have fallen because he didn't do anything on special teams this summer.

Another veteran who didn't make the 53-man roster was wide receiver David Terrell, whom the Chicago Bears made the eighth overall selection in the NFL draft in 2001 after he starred at Michigan.

The Broncos also cut Micah Knorr, meaning second-year pro Paul Ernster will punt during Todd Sauerbrun's monthlong suspension for using ephedra, a dietary supplement banned by the league, in offseason workouts.

Altogether, the Broncos cut 20 players and placed rookie center Greg Eslinger on the reserve-injured list with a right shoulder injury.

Patriots release defensive lineman Klecko
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Defensive lineman Dan Klecko, the son of former New York Jets star Joe Klecko, was among nine players released Saturday by the New England Patriots.

 New England Patriots

The younger Klecko spent the last three seasons with the Patriots after being drafted in the fourth round out of Temple, but at 5-foot-11 and 275 pounds, was undersized as a lineman. He also played linebacker and filled in occasionally at fullback in goal-line situations.

In his three seasons, he started three of his 29 games and totaled 22 tackles and two sacks. His father was a defensive lineman with the Jets in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Patriots placed linebacker Barry Gardner and safety Tebucky Jones on injured reserve, and they will miss the entire season. Gardner suffered a serious leg injury Thursday night against the New York Giants in the Patriots' final preseason game. Jones, primarily a special teams player, injured his hamstring in the third preseason game.

RB Davenport, WR Gardner among Packers cuts
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers released frequently injured running back Najeh Davenport in their final round of roster cuts Saturday.

 Green Bay Packers

Davenport showed a punishing running style in four seasons in Green Bay, but struggled to stay healthy. He broke his ankle against New Orleans Oct. 9 and missed the rest of last season.

He returned to the Packers this year, but had nagging injuries in training camp and averaged only 2.7 yards per carry in the preseason.

Wide receiver Rod Gardner, picked up by the Packers on waivers near the end of last season, also was released on Saturday.

Bengals put RB Chris Perry on injury list
CINCINNATI -- Running back Chris Perry, a first-round draft pick who has been limited by injuries, will start his third season with the Cincinnati Bengals sidelined again.

 Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals put Perry on the physically unable to perform list Saturday, one of their moves to reach the 53-man roster limit. Perry had knee and ankle surgery in the offseason, preventing him from playing in the preseason.

Perry will miss at least the first five games of the season. He's not eligible to return to practice until Oct. 17 under a roster exemption.

The only draft pick waived on Saturday was Reggie McNeal, a Texas A&M quarterback taken in the sixth round. The Bengals had tried to turn him into a receiver, their deepest position.

The Bengals waived TE Darnell Sanders, WR P.K. Sam, TE Ronnie Ghent, OT Pete Lougheed, G Kyle Takavitz, C Ben Wilkerson, S John Busing, RB DeDe Dorsey, DE Eric Henderson, WR Glenn Holt, TE David Jones, G Nate Livings, FB Chris Manderino and FB Naufahu Tahi.

Moe Williams, nine others cut by Rams
ST. LOUIS -- With Stephen Davis in a Rams uniform, the St. Louis Rams cut veteran Moe Williams and nine other players Saturday to get down to the league-mandated 53-man roster.

 St. Louis Rams

Davis, a three-time Pro-Bowl running back released by Carolina in the spring, signed with St. Louis on Friday.

Rams coach Scott Linehan indicated Davis would play in the season opener Sept. 10 against Denver despite not being in game-day shape, which led to the thought of keeping four backs on the roster.

"It was certainly considered but then you have to lose a fullback or a tight end," Linehan said. "At the end, it all adds up to the number we planned from the start. It's never perfect, but right now it's the best 53 to get ourselves ready for next Sunday."

Also released Saturday were quarterback Dave Ragone, tight end Jerome Collins, cornerback DeJuan Groce, defensive tackles Brian Howard and Tim Sandidge, linebacker Tim McGarigle, guard Tony Palmer, running back Fred Russell and wide receiver Dominique Thompson.

Bears drop former first-round pick Haynes
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Michael Haynes, the Chicago Bears' 2003 first-round draft pick out of Penn State, was cut Saturday as the team got down to the 53-man roster limit.

 Chicago Bears

Haynes, who'd switched to defensive tackle from end during the preseason, started four games in his three years, playing in 43. He had 5½ sacks in his three seasons and also an interception return for a touchdown in 2004.

Haynes, the 2002 Big Ten defensive player of the year after 15 sacks as a senior for the Nittany Lions, was the 14th player selected overall in 2003. He was taken eight slots ahead of quarterback Rex Grossman, whom the Bears also drafted in the first round. Haynes' value fell when the Bears switched defensive systems two years ago under Lovie Smith.

Also waived Saturday was rookie running back P.J. Pope, who got to play during the preseason with injuries to Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson.

Others waived were fullback Thump Belton, offensive tackle Mark LeVoir, guard Tyler Reed, punter Joel Stelly, defensive end Jamaal Green, tight end Cooper Wallace and linebacker Rod Wilson.

Vikings part ways with Offord, McMahon
MINNEAPOLIS -- Safety Willie Offord and quarterback Mike McMahon were among 21 players cut on Saturday by the Minnesota Vikings, who also traded veteran offensive lineman Adam Goldberg to St. Louis.

 Minnesota Vikings

Offord, a fourth-year pro who was one of the best special teams players on the Vikings, was coming back from a knee injury that sidelined him for the final 13 games of last season. The move was a mild surprise because Offord had played well in the preseason and the Vikings were thin at safety after losing Tank Williams to a season-ending knee injury earlier in camp.

After trading for Jets quarterback Brooks Bollinger earlier in the week, McMahon's release was expected. He started seven games for the Eagles last year and followed offensive coordinator Brad Childress to the Vikings in the offseason when he was hired to replace Mike Tice.

Hodgins, Edwards let go by Cardinals
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Fullback James Hodgins and tight end Eric Edwards were among 20 players cut by the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.

 Arizona Cardinals

Also released was offensive tackle Jeremy Bridges, who had been working with the first team following the injury to Oliver Ross, but was replaced when the Cardinals acquired Brandon Gorin from New England.

Among the cuts was former Notre Dame quarterback turned wide receiver Carlyle Holiday.

Others released were running back Damien Anderson, fullback John Bronson, linebacker Mark Brown, defensive tackle Tim Bulman, cornerback Dyshod Carter, safety Chris Harrell, cornerback Darrell Hunter, linebacker Isaac Keys, defensive end Tyler King, wide receiver Greg Lee, center Shawn Lynch, safety Jay McCareins, offensive tackle Alan Reuber, wide receiver Michael Spurlock, wide receiver Todd Watkins, and cornerback Justin Wyatt.

Ravens release pair of QBs
BALTIMORE -- Quarterbacks Brian St. Pierre and Drew Olson were among 21 players cut Saturday by the Baltimore Ravens, who also placed guard Brian Rimpf on injured reserve, ending his season.

 Baltimore Ravens

The moves brought the Ravens to the mandated 53-man limit, although the team is certain to shuffle the roster before opening the season Sept. 10 at Tampa Bay. By cutting St. Pierre and Olson, Baltimore has only two quarterbacks: starter Steve McNair and backup Kyle Boller.

Also on Saturday, Baltimore traded linebacker Ryan LaCasse to the Indianapolis Colts for an undisclosed draft pick. LaCasse was drafted in the seventh round out of Syracuse.

Veteran punter Leo Araguz and placekicker Aaron Elling were also cut, leaving rookie Sam Koch to handle both the punting and kickoff duties. Koch, a sixth-round draft pick from Nebraska, averaged 45.1 yards on 16 punts during the preseason.

Among the veterans cut Saturday: defensive end Roderick Green, Baltimore's fifth-round pick in 2004; linebacker Tim Johnson; guard Thatcher Szalay; and defensive back Jamaine Winborne.

Former starter Lavalais cut by Falcons
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Defensive tackle Chad Lavalais, who started 20 games over the last two seasons, was the most notable player waived by the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.

 Atlanta Falcons

Lavalais, a fifth-round draft pick out of LSU in 2004, started six games as a rookie and all 14 games he played last season. The 6-foot-1, 292-pounder made 33 tackles, including 2½ sacks, on a defense that gave up more yards rushing than any team in the league in 2005.

Four receivers -- Jerome Pathon, Robert Redd, Troy Bergeron and Jamin Elliott -- got their walking papers. Pathon began training camp as the projected third receiver, but played so poorly that the team traded T.J. Duckett as part of a three-team deal to acquire Ashley Lelie from Denver.

Punter Tony Yelk and kicker Miro Kesic were placed on waivers as Atlanta moved closer to letting Michael Koenen handle all three kicking duties: punting, field goals and kickoffs.

Chiefs cut former first draft choice
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Junior Siavii, the hulking defensive tackle Kansas City took with its first draft choice in 2004, was released Saturday along with 19 other players as the Chiefs got down to their 53-man roster.

 Kansas City Chiefs

Also released was quarterback Casey Printers, the former Canadian Football League player who Kansas City signed last spring after outbidding several other teams. If possible, the Chiefs will probably try to bring Printers back for their practice squad.

Knowing he would be a project, the Chiefs took the 330-pound Siavii out of Oregon with their first pick in the second round after trading their first-round choice to Detroit. But he was consistently injured and seemed to lack desire. As a result, defensive tackle remains one of their most suspect areas heading into next week's season opener against Cincinnati.

Eleven-year veteran tackle John Browning, in another move that weakens the defensive line, was placed on injured reserve. The versatile Browning had played in 121 regular-season games for Kansas City and started at every position on the defensive front. Also placed on injured reserve was reserve cornerback Alphonso Hodge.

Jets waive cornerback Mickens
NEW YORK -- The New York Jets cut veteran cornerback Ray Mickens and 22 others Saturday to get to the mandated 53-man roster.

 New York Jets

The Jets re-signed Mickens in May to provide experience and depth in the secondary. But the Jets hardly used him in the preseason, and it became clear they were going to go with youth in the defensive backfield. The Jets opted to keep third-year player Derrick Strait as their nickel back instead of Mickens -- even though the team traded Strait to the Browns in the failed deal for Lee Suggs last month.

The other players cut Saturday were: offensive linemen Ed Blanton, Marko Cavka, Charles Missant, Steve Morley, Doug Nienhuis, and Issac Snell; wide receivers Reggie Newhouse, Dante Ridgeway and Sloan Thomas; tight ends Joel Dreessen, Joe Kowalewski, and Walter Rasby; running back Stacy Tutt; defensive linemen Darrell Adams, Matt McChesney, Brennan Schmidt; linebackers Craig Bailey, Blake Costanzo and Darrell McClover; defensive backs Andre Maddox, Hank Poteat and Jamie Thompson.

Bills trim roster, cutting 21
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills cut 21 players from their roster on Saturday, including receivers Jonathan Smith and George Wilson.

 Buffalo Bills

In addition, running back Joe Burns was placed on injured reserve because of a forearm injury, ending his season.

Other notable cuts were offensive linemen Greg Jerman and Justin Geisinger, defensive backs Eric King and Rashad Baker, and running back Lionel Gates.

The Bills also released CB Eric Bassey, TE Brad Cieslak, LB Liam Ezekiel, FB Jon Goldsberry, DL Jason Hall, LB Wendell Hunter, RB Fred Jackson, DL Jason Jefferson, S Jim Leonhard, DL Ryan Neill, LB Joe Odom, FB Alan Ricard, DL Lauvale Sape, and OL Jason Thomas.

Panthers send LB Adams, two quarterbacks off
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers released linebacker Keith Adams and two quarterbacks among 22 players on Saturday.

 Carolina Panthers

Carolina cut quarterbacks Stefan LeFors and Brett Basanez, meaning it will enter the season with only two quarterbacks -- Jake Delhomme and Chris Weinke -- on the 53-man roster. Tight end Kris Mangum would serve as the team's emergency third quarterback.

Redskins cut 21, including two backup linemen
ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins set their 53-man roster Saturday by releasing 21 players, including a pair of backup defensive linemen who contributed to last year's playoff run.

 Washington Redskins

Cedric Killings and Nic Clemons were the only cuts who got substantial playing time last year. Killings played in 10 games and had one start, while Clemons played in eight games. Both played in Washington's two playoff games.

They essentially were replaced this year by a pair of draft picks. Fifth-round selection Anthony Montgomery from Minnesota and sixth-rounder Kedric Golston from Georgia both made the team.

Two of the six draft choices weren't as fortunate. Seventh-round pick Kili Lefotu, an offensive lineman from Arizona, was released Saturday. Another seventh-rounder, linebacker Kevin Simon from Tennessee, was sent home in the first wave of cuts Tuesday.

Eagles trade two, cut veteran WRs Gaffney, McCants
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles got down to the roster limit by trading two players -- center Hank Fraley and fullback Josh Parry -- who started in the Super Bowl 19 months ago.

 Philadelphia Eagles

They also cut veteran wide receivers Jabar Gaffney and Darnerien McCants on Saturday.

Safety/return specialist J.R. Reed, trying to make an improbable comeback after a freak injury threatened his career and sidelined him last season, was among the 17 players released to get Philadelphia to the mandated 53-man limit.

Cornerback Matt Ware, a third-round pick in 2004, and offensive lineman Trey Darilek, a fourth-round selection that year, also were cut.

49ers punt Rouen, special teams mainstay Jackson
SAN FRANCISCO -- Andy Lee beat out 14-year veteran Tom Rouen to be the San Francisco 49ers' punter, and longtime special-teams stalwart Terry Jackson also was among 22 players released by the club on Saturday.

 San Francisco 49ers

Jackson had been with the 49ers since 1999, playing mostly on kicking units and as a blocking back on third downs. The running back was most valuable as a leader on special teams, but coach Mike Nolan decided those jobs could be done by younger players, including rookie Michael Robinson.

Rouen, who punted for Seattle in the Super Bowl last season, lost the competition with Lee, in his third season with San Francisco. Lee, who makes about $250,000 less than Rouen would have made, impressed Nolan in the Niners' exhibition victory over San Diego on Friday night.

Cowboys release rookie stalwart Petitti
IRVING, Texas -- Rob Petitti played every offensive snap as a rookie last season for the Dallas Cowboys. The offensive right tackle won't even be on the roster this season.

 Dallas Cowboys

Petitti was among 15 players cut Saturday by the Cowboys to get to the mandatory 53-man roster. Also let go were two of the team's April draft picks, receiver/kick returner Skyler Green and defensive tackle Montavious Stanley.

The Cowboys also said Saturday that the NFL has suspended safety Marcus Coleman for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Coleman will be eligible to rejoin the active roster Oct. 9.

Free agent linebacker Rocky Boiman, who got a $1 million signing bonus from the Cowboys after four seasons in Tennessee, was among the other cuts. He was expected to be a key factor on special teams and provide depth on defense.

Giants waive WR Ponder, CB Deloatch
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Receiver Willie Ponder, cornerback Curtis Deloatch and 19 players were waived by the New York Giants on Saturday to reach the NFL's 53-man roster limit.

 New York Giants

Free-agent offensive lineman Matt Lentz was placed on injured reserve with an elbow injury.

Ponder, one of four players in franchise history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns, and Deloatch, who started 13 games last season, were among six veterans and two draft picks cut.

Defensive tackle Damane Duckett, defensive ends Eric Moore and Adrian Awasom and safety Quentin Harris, a fifth-year veteran who signed as a free agent in the offseason, also were released. Duckett, Moore and Awasom saw limited action last season.

Jaguars cut OT Hunter, DT Maddox, 14 first-year players
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars released 21 players Saturday, including offensive tackle Wayne Hunter and defensive tackle Anthony Maddox.

 Jacksonville Jaguars

Other veterans released: guard Derrick Fletcher, receiver Randy Hymes, cornerback David Richardson, center Brett Romberg and tight end Todd Yoder.

The Jags also waived 14 first-year players: running back Rich Alexis, defensive lineman Walter Curry, defensive end Jim Davis, long-snapper Andrew Economos, tight end Greg Estandia, safety Jamaal Fudge, cornerback Trestin George, offensive tackle Ryan Gibbons, linebacker Brian Iwuh, cornerback Edorian McCullough, receiver Charles Sharon, guard Shannon Snell, receiver Fred Stamps and defensive end James Wyche.

Chargers left with two QBs after cutting Elliott
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers' inexperienced quarterback corps was trimmed to two on Saturday when rookie Brett Elliott was among the 21 players cut in order to set the 53-man roster.

 San Diego Chargers

For the time being, that leaves the Chargers with untested starter Philip Rivers and rookie Charlie Whitehurst. Rivers, a third-year pro, will make his first NFL start at Oakland on Sept. 11.

"We felt that we had two quarterbacks that we can win with," coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

Later, though, Schottenheimer said: "We will need a third quarterback to get all our work done. You can't do it with just two. You need a third."

General manager A.J. Smith didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

The Chargers could always bring Elliott back by signing him to the practice squad.

The Chargers had a veteran backup, A.J. Feeley, but they cut him on Monday. Two days after being re-signed by Philadelphia, Feeley led the Eagles on three straight scoring drives in a 20-17 exhibition loss to the New York Jets on Saturday night.

Saints place Mayberry on IR, cut 21 others
NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints decided to go with youth on the offensive line, placing veteran guard Jermane Mayberry on injured reserve for the 2006 season.

 New Orleans Saints

The Saints had to cut or place on injured reserve 22 players Saturday to get to the NFL maximum 53-player roster for the regular season.

Those released included linebacker Colby Bockwoldt, who started much of last season, and tight end Zack Hilton, who started six games last season and was tied for third in catches with 35 for 396 yards and a touchdown.

The Saints also cut fourth quarterback Adrian McPherson, who was injured when a mascot hit him with a golf cart in the Saints' opening preseason game in Tennessee. McPherson, who was kicked out of Florida State because of legal trouble, was drafted last season as a second-chance project. He could be signed to the Saints' practice squad if no other team claims him off of waivers.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press