|Joey Harrington released by Atlanta Falcons|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 05 March 2008 17:54|
The third overall pick in the 2002 draft by Detroit, the quarterback who started 10 of Atlanta's games last season was cut Wednesday. Running back Warrick Dunn was released Monday by Atlanta, which last month cut tight end Alge Crumpler, offensive tackle Wayne Gandy and quarterback Byron Leftwich.
The move leaves Atlanta, 4-12 last season, with only two quarterbacks on the roster: Chris Redman, who has been re-signed to a two-year deal, and D.J. Shockley, who missed all of last season with a knee injury. They are likely to pick a quarterback in April's draft, perhaps Boston College's Matt Ryan, with the third pick.
Harrington, who was traded from Detroit to Miami and released by the Dolphins, was the primary replacement for Michael Vick, who is serving 23 months in prison for his involvement in dogfighting.
A more renowned quarterback than Harrington, Brett Favre, scheduled a news conference for Thursday to discuss his retirement. The Packers announced Tuesday that the 38-year-old star is retiring.
Oakland, which has been on a spending spree, agreed to terms with wide receiver Javon Walker, who had been released by Denver, and former San Francisco offensive tackle Kwame Harris.
Walker will receive a $6 million signing bonus and $5 million in salary in each of the first two years. The six-year deal could be worth up to $55 million, a person familiar with the contract said on condition of anonymity because the terms were not released.
Harris is guaranteed $3 million in the first year of his deal that would pay him $16 million over three years, the person said.
After losing receiver Jerry Porter to Jacksonville through free agency, the Raiders had only one wide receiver under contract with more than six career catches.
Walker was released by Denver last week after catching 26 passes for 287 yards and no touchdowns in eight games last season. He started the season with two 100-yard games before missing two months following a third operation on his right knee.
The signings fill positions of need for the Raiders, who are trying to build their offense around quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the first overall pick in last year's draft.
New England re-signed wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, who had 36 receptions for 449 yards and a career high five touchdowns last season. His biggest was for the winning TD with 44 seconds left in Baltimore that kept alive New England's unbeaten streak at 12 games en route to a 16-0 regular-season mark.
In other moves:
-Carolina added depth to the defensive line by coming to terms with free-agent Tyler Brayton on a two-year deal. Oakland's first-round pick in 2003, Brayton managed only six sacks in five seasons as the Raiders struggled to find a spot for him. Brayton moved from defensive end to linebacker to defensive tackle. He didn't start a game last season.
The Panthers also re-signed reserve linebacker and special teams player Donte Curry to a two-year deal. He played in seven games last season.
-Free agent linebackers Matt McCoy and Teddy Lehman signed with Tampa Bay.
McCoy spent the last three seasons with Philadelphia and New Orleans, starting 10 of 30 games. He entered the league as a second-round draft pick of the Eagles in 2005.
Lehman appeared in 41 games, with 16 starts, in four seasons with Detroit from 2004-07. He was a second-round draft pick four years ago.
-Jacksonville signed defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy and three other free agents: offensive tackles Pete McMahon and Ryan Gibbons and long-snapper Brett Goode.
Kennedy, drafted 12th overall by St. Louis in 2003, spent the 2007 training camp with Denver before being released. He was signed by Chicago in mid-December, played in the final three games and had three tackles.
Kennedy has 152 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 56 games. He could help the Jaguars replace three-time Pro Bowl lineman Marcus Stroud, who was traded to Buffalo last week.
-Detroit re-signed running back Aveion Cason and signed free-agent guard Corey Hulsey. Cason was fifth in the NFL last season with 1,041 kickoff return yards and a 24.8 yard average despite missing four games.
-Miami re-signed cornerback Michael Lehan and also signed free-agent fullback Boomer Grigsby.
Lehan signed a four-year deal. He started 14 games last year, his best season, making one interception and returning a fumble for a touchdown.
Grigsby, primarily a special teams player, became a free agent after spending his first three NFL seasons with Kansas City. He has 49 career tackles on coverage units.