NFL Notebook: Randle El out in Washington
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Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El was among 10 players the Washington Redskins cut on the eve of free agency.
Cornerback Fred Smoot, defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, running back Ladell Betts, backup quarterback Todd Collins, guard Randy Thomas and kick-returner Rock Cartwright also were released Thursday as the Redskins cleared salary cap space in the first major moves under the new brain trust of general manager Bruce Allen and coach Mike Shanahan.
"Obviously, it's a day of change for the Redskins," Allen said.
The Redskins need to get younger after a 4-12 season, and seven of the released players are at least 30 years old. Also, 32-year-old left tackle Chris Samuels announced his expected retirement because of a neck injury.
Randle El never played up to the value of the big-money free-agent deal he signed in 2006 after winning the Super Bowl with the Steelers.
Starting safety Antrel Rolle was released, a move that was expected because the club does not want to play him a $4 million roster bonus and $8 million salary he is due. The Cardinals tendered qualifying contracts to five players, including wide receiver Steve Breaston, a Woodland Hills graduate.
Receiver Laveranues Coles was released, a one year after Cincinnati signed him to a four-year deal to replace T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Coles had only 43 catches for 514 yards and a touchdown last season.
San Diego made two surprise moves in the hours before free agency began, deciding to keep speedy little Darren Sproles and releasing defensive tackle Jamal Williams, a 12-year veteran. The Chargers placed the maximum first- and third-round tender on Sproles, offering him a contract for $7,283,000.
Defensive tackle Tony Brown and tight end Bo Scaife were among six restricted free agents to get tenders from Tennessee. Meanwhile, linebacker Keith Bulluck, tight end Alge Crumpler, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and center Kevin Mawae are among eight who will be unrestricted and able to sign with any team.
Cornerback Brian Williams, an eight-year veteran, signed a one-year contract. No terms were released. Long snapper Mike Schneck, a former Steeler, retired after 11 seasons in the league.
Veteran linebacker Mike Vrabel, who has played for the Steelers and New England Patriorts, signed a contract extension with Kansas City that keeps him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Linebacker Matt Wilhelm re-signed with San Francisco, getting a one-year contract that keeps him from becoming an unrestricted free agent. Wilhelm has 258 tackles, 6 interceptions and 2 sacks in his seven-year NFL career.
Wide receiver Braylon Edwards, acquired from Cleveland in a trade in October, was given a first- and third-round tender, meaning he is likely to remain with New York. He had 35 catches for 541 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season. The Jets also released cornerback Lito Sheppard after a disappointing and injury-filled season. He was due a $10 million roster bonus.
Dallas gave restricted free agent Miles Austin the highest possible tender offer, requiring any team that signs the Pro Bowl receiver to give up a first- and third-round pick as compensation. Team owner Jerry Jones said he'll consider giving Austin a long-term contract.
First Published March 5, 2010 12:00 am