NFL ROUNDUP \ News and notes
Broncos: Ron Dayne, the 1999 Heisman Trophy winner who entered training camp as the starter, was released. "I kind of understand. Once I got hurt, the other guys stepped up," said Dayne, who was surpassed by undrafted rookie Mike Bell and then suffered turf toe in the preseason opener and didn't play again. Dayne also was a flop with the New York Giants, who drafted him in 2000 out of Wisconsin, where he set the NCAA career rushing record.
Packers: Veteran running back Najeh Davenport, who missed much of last season with a broken ankle, was cut. Davenport was a punishing runner in four seasons in Green Bay, but couldn't stay healthy. He had nagging injuries in training camp and averaged only 2.7 yards per carry. "I'm sure he'll be working somewhere tomorrow," GM Ted Thompson said. Wide receiver Rod Gardner, picked up on waivers near the end of last season, also was released.
Bengals: Another sidelined runner, at least for the first six weeks of the season, is Cincinnati's Chris Perry. He is on the physically-unable-to-perform list after knee and ankle surgery in the offseason prevented him from playing in the preseason.
Lions: Charles Rogers' career in Detroit ended with just 36 receptions for 440 yards and four touchdowns along with two broken collarbones and a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy. "We picked the men that are right for this football team," coach Rod Marinelli said. "It's behind us. I wish him the very best. We just move on."
Texans: Domanick Davis, the team's top rusher the last three seasons, has been out for a month with soreness in his left knee caused by a bone bruise. "He's done everything he can do," coach Mike Kubiak said. "It's been disappointing for him and disappointing for everybody." Davis has 3,195 yards and 23 touchdowns in three NFL seasons. "It's sad I won't be here in light of what is going on, because I feel that the team is going to be very good this season," he said. "I'd love to be part of it, but right now I have to get myself together. I'm glad they supported me. They felt good about what I have done in the past and what I can do." The Texans also released veteran tackle Seth Wand.
Patriots: With Deion Branch still a holdout, Doug Gabriel was acquired from Oakland to bolster the receiving corps. Gabriel was scheduled to start for Oakland across from Randy Moss; he has 71 receptions in three seasons. Branch, who has one year left on his contract worth $1.045 million, filed a grievance against the Patriots Friday. New England gave him permission to seek a trade and he worked out a contract with the Jets, but the Patriots nixed a deal.
Vikings: Wide receiver Todd Pinkston, who spent his first six seasons with the Eagles signed with Minnesota. Pinkston, who played the last four under current Vikings coach Brad Childress when he was an Eagles assistant coach, missed all of last season with a torn right Achilles' tendon. The Vikings cut OL Chris Liwienski, who started 75 consecutive games between 2001 and 2005 and, along with center Matt Birk, was the longest-tenured Viking. QB Mike McMahon and safety Willie Offord were released and Minnesota traded veteran offensive lineman Adam Goldberg to St. Louis.
Eagles: Fullback Josh Parry as traded to Seattle for an undisclosed pick in the 2008 draft. Veteran wide receivers Jabar Gaffney and Darnerien McCants were cut. Safety/return specialist J.R. Reed, who cut the back of his knee last year while jumping over a fence and damaged a nerve that affects the use of his lower leg and foot, was released, along with cornerback Matt Ware.
Raiders: Jeff George's comeback didn't last long. George, who has not played in an NFL game since 2001, was released a week after he joined the Raiders. Oakland also cut veteran cornerback Duane Starks and linebacker Danny Clark and placed tight end O.J. Santiago, wide receiver Carlos Francis, linebacker Darnell Bing and safety Alvin Nnabuife on injured reserve.
Bears: DL Michael Haynes, the team's 2003 first-round draft pick, was cut. Haynes, who'd switched to defensive tackle from end during the preseason, started four games in his three years, playing in 43. He had 51/2 sacks in his three seasons and also an interception return for a touchdown in 2004.
49ers: Andy Lee beat out 14-year veteran Tom Rouen as the punter, and longtime special-teams stalwart Terry Jackson was released. Jackson had been with the 49ers since 1999, playing mostly on kicking units and as a blocking back on third downs. Rouen punted for Seattle in the Super Bowl last season.
Seahawks: Wideout-kick returner Peter Warrick was let go by Seattle. Cincinnati's first-round pick (fourth overall) in 2000 had a nagging leg injury throughout 2005 and was beaten out this summer as punt returner by Jimmy Williams. Veteran safety Mike Green went on IR with torn foot ligaments.
Titans: Tennessee released receiver Tyrone Calico, a second-round pick in 2003 who never developed and couldn't stay healthy. The Titans also cut RB Jarrett Payton, son of the late Hall of Fame back Walter Payton.
Jets: Veteran cornerback Ray Mickens, who re-signed in May to provide experience and depth in the secondary, was released. The Jets kept 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.
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