PHILADELPHIA -- Jeremy Bloom fared better on the slopes than a football field.
The two-time Olympic skier was among 22 players cut by the Philadelphia Eagles to reach the 53-man roster limit on Saturday. A fifth-round draft pick in 2006, Bloom never played a down in the regular season.
He spent his entire rookie year on injured reserve and hoped to make the team as a return specialist. Bloom averaged 20.3 yards on 12 kickoff returns in the preseason and 7.8 yards on 10 punt returns.
Veteran punter Dirk Johnson, who spent the last four seasons with the Eagles, also was released. Johnson was beaten out by Sav Rocca, a former Australian football player.
Rocca averaged 45.4 yards per punt in the preseason with a net average of 38.9 yards. Johnson had a gross average of 43.9 yards and a net of 34.8 yards. Last season, Johnson averaged 42.6 yards gross, the highest of his career but 18th overall in the NFL.
The speedy-but-undersized Bloom, listed at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, played two seasons at Colorado before the NCAA ruled he was ineligible in the fall of 2004 because he accepted endorsements to keep his career as a skier on track. He had 24 receptions as a wide receiver, and scored five touchdowns of 75 yards or more returning punts and kickoffs.
After returning from a sixth-place finish at the Turin Olympics in February 2006, Bloom went to the NFL scouting combine, where he ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash. Bloom finished ninth at the Olympics in 2002.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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