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NFL ROUNDUP Safety is cut to rid salary

Friday, March 26, 2004


Brent Alexander had started all 64 games since joining the Steelers.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Veteran free safety Brent Alexander was released Monday by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The 10-year veteran joined Pittsburgh before the 2000 season as an unrestricted free agent from the Carolina Panthers.
He had started in all of the 64 games since he arrived, but the Steelers cleared some salary cap room by cutting Alexander and his $950,000 salary.
Alexander, 32, led the team with four interceptions last year for 63 yards. He had 83 tackles, of which 61 were solo tackles.
Broncos
Five-time Pro Bowl safety John Lynch agreed to terms Monday as Denver continued to revamp its defense, also signing defensive end Raylee Johnson and agreeing to terms with defensive tackle Luther Elliss.
Lynch played his entire 11-year career with Tampa Bay, but the Buccaneers released him last week. The five-time Pro Bowler was a key part of Tampa Bay's Super Bowl team two years ago, but was scheduled to make $4.2 million next season.
Lynch, 32, can play either safety position, although he has played primarily free safety throughout his career.
Johnson, who spent his first 11 seasons in San Diego, signed a three-year, $3.3 million contract that includes a $1 million signing bonus. The 33-year-old is expected to split time with Reggie Hayward at right end, helping compensate for the loss of Bertrand Berry, who signed with Arizona.
Elliss spent his first nine seasons with Detroit and was a Pro Bowler in 1999 and 2000, but was released by the Lions on March 2 in a cost-cutting move.
Jets
Free-agent safety Reggie Tongue was signed Monday. The eight-year veteran takes over the strong safety spot of Sam Garnes, who was released earlier this month.
Tongue, a second-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1997, spent the last four seasons with Seattle. Last season, he had 63 tackles, two sacks, four interceptions, eight defended passes and two forced fumbles.
The Jets also re-signed five players, including restricted free-agent linebacker Quincy Stewart. They kept wide receivers Lawrence Hamilton and Ken-Yon Rambo; safety Omare Lowe; and linebacker Mark Brown.
Long snapper Randy Chevrier also signed. Chevrier was in the Canadian Football League the last two seasons after spending time with Jacksonville, Dallas and Cincinnati.
Texans
Former Pittsburgh tight end Mark Bruener was signed. Bruener, known mainly for his blocking, has 137 career receptions for 1,197 yards and 16 touchdowns in nine seasons.
Vikings
Minnesota released tight end Hunter Goodwin, who became expendable when the Vikings signed free agent Jermaine Wiggins and kept starter Jim Kleinsasser with a five-year contract. A powerful blocker, Goodwin has 37 career receptions for 265 yards and two touchdowns.
Also, defensive end Kenny Mixon faces a year in jail after being convicted Monday of drunken driving. A jury also found Mixon, 28, guilty of possessing an open container of alcohol and driving with a revoked license.