Cardinals cut longest tenured veteran Player

Updated: August 29, 2007, 9:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Arizona Cardinals: Punter Scott Player, the Cardinals' longest-tenured veteran in both seasons and games played, was released by the team on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old Player appeared in 140 games in his nine seasons with the Cardinals. He has punted 714 times for 30,752 yards and a 43.1-yard average. Player was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2000 season, his third with the team.

"It's never easy to part ways with a veteran who has contributed to the team for as long as Scott has," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "At the same time, you have to make decisions based on what's in the best interests of the football team and we feel this move is."

Player will be replaced by Mike Barr, picked up on a waiver claim Tuesday. Barr was released Monday by Pittsburgh. The 28-year-old Barr has never appeared in an NFL regular-season game.

He punted six times for 270 yards, a 45.0-yard average, during the preseason for the Steelers. The Rutgers product spent the 2004-06 seasons in NFL Europe with the Frankfurt Galaxy.

Elsewhere in NFL camps:

Indianapolis Colts: Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning added a new pitch to his plethora of endorsements Wednesday -- one that came from the heart.

On the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Manning gave an impromptu boost to the tourism industry in his hometown of New Orleans by calling on those who have not visited the city recently to return.

"People around the country need to know they can still use their help and support," Manning told reporters. "Prayers and money are good, but there has been progress in certain areas and people can visit those areas. They need the tourists to come back."

For Manning, New Orleans has always been a special place.

His father, Archie, was a longtime quarterback for the Saints and then served as a color analyst for Saints games on the radio. It was New Orleans where the league's two-time MVP honed his football skills, first in his parents' backyard and later at Isidore Newman High School.

Manning's parents and older brother, Cooper, still live in New Orleans, and after the hurricane struck in August 2005, Manning was one of the league's biggest names to lend support to the recovery effort. Manning and his younger brother, Eli, even shipped a planeload of supplies back home.

And next Thursday, Manning will open his 10th NFL season against the Saints.

Minnesota Vikings: With the regular season opener just over a week away, Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson still doesn't know who is going to be protecting him on the right side of the offensive line.

Four players are vying for two openings at right guard and right tackle, and Thursday night's preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys could go a long way toward deciding the race.

"I am not ready to crown anybody king at that position and say this is going to be the starter in our first game," coach Brad Childress said earlier this week.

Anthony Herrera and Artis Hicks have been swapping out at right guard, with Ryan Cook and Marcus Johnson competing for the right tackle job.

Denver Broncos: Mike Shanahan isn't going to deviate from his plan to rest his starters in the final exhibition tuneup against Arizona.

Despite a dismal defensive showing in the preseason and an offense that never had all its parts working together, Shanahan won't alter his strategy.

"No change in philosophy," said the Denver Broncos coach who prefers to use the last preseason game as a job interview for the final half-dozen or so roster spots.

Plus, some Denver players could use a rest.

The Broncos' top three wide receivers -- Javon Walker, Brandon Marshall, Brandon Stokley -- have all missed time, along with tight end Tony Scheffler. Rod Smith has yet to practice as he continues his recovery from offseason hip surgery that will sideline him through the first six weeks of the season at minimum.

Denver's top two running backs, Travis Henry (knee) and Mike Bell (hip) were hurt at Dallas two weeks ago and won't return until the opener Sept. 9 at Buffalo.

Left guard Ben Hamilton has been slow to recover from a concussion early in camp. He was expected to practice this week, but became nauseated doing some drills and his return was put off indefinitely.

"He's seeing specialists, seeing the best in the world, and when he's ready to come back, he'll come back," Shanahan said. "Hopefully, it's sooner rather than later."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.