Cowboys cut Carter; Oakland releases Brown

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 5, 2004

In a shocking and unexpected development, Quincy Carter is no longer with the Dallas Cowboys after quarterbacking them to the playoffs last season.

Tim Brown, one of the top receivers in the NFL, is out after 16 seasons in Oakland.

On a day of departures in the NFL, Carter's release was a shock after he started every game in a 10-6 season and guided the Cowboys into the playoffs. The move left 40-year-old Vinny Testaverde as the starter, with the untested Drew Henson and Tony Romo behind him. Henson, considered a top prospect, has never played an NFL game and played baseball in the New York Yankees' farm system for three years.

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''We've made a decision to move in a different direction,'' owner Jerry Jones said amid reports Carter failed a drug test. ''We're not going to get in a lot of detail on the process.''

Pressed on the matter, Jones added: ''I think that we should leave it at it just was not a difficult decision, and not get into a definition of what it was about. You're trying to get some information I just can't give.''

The NFL had no comment, its standard response to drug-related inquiries.

The release of the 38-year-old Brown by the Raiders was hardly a shock.

Salary cap constraints and the reality of reduced playing time persuaded owner Al Davis to part ways with the last member of the Los Angeles Raiders. Brown, who will be released Thursday, holds most of the club's receiving records, and his 240 games in Silver and Black are the most in franchise history.

''I have fought the battle as much as I possibly could and tried to restore the image as much as possible to the Raiders,'' Brown said. ''This won't be the end of Tim Brown. I'll surface somewhere else, probably.''

He ranks second in NFL history with 14,734 yards receiving and third with 1,070 catches. His 99 touchdown receptions are tied with Don Hutson for fourth, and his 19,434 all-purpose yards are fifth.

Eagles’ Dawkins out with knee injury

Free safety Brian Dawkins will miss the next week of training camp after injuring his knee. An MRI exam revealed Dawkins, taking part in his first practice at camp after being out with groin spasms, had a bone bruise to his left knee and a hyperextension.

Clinton Hart, who made the team in training camp last year as a free agent and started nine games in Dawkins' place while the three-time Pro Bowler was out with a foot injury, figures to step in. But Hart was demoted to third team on Wednesday for struggling in practice.

Vikings center to have surgery

Center Matt Birk had minor surgery to determine the cause of a pelvic injury that's caused him to miss three consecutive practices. Doctors looked for a sports hernia, trainer Chuck Barta said. The team expected to learn the results Thursday.

Coach Mike Tice has said the worst-case scenario is that the Pro Bowler would miss two or three weeks, and that he's been guaranteed that Birk will be ready for the regular-season opener on Sept. 12 against Dallas.

Pittsburgh rookie QB shaking butterflies

Ben Roethlisberger was just like any other player on his first official day in a new uniform.

Nervous. Really, really nervous.

''Without question,'' the Steelers' first-round draft pick said Wednesday after his first training camp practice with the Pittsburgh Steelers. ''It felt like the first day of minicamp all over again. Tommy (Maddox) and I were laughing about it. You need to get out there and get the first play out of the way.''

That first play was nothing remarkable for the most-watched Steelers rookie quarterback since Terry Bradshaw in 1970. From the 20-yard line in a seven-on-seven passing drill, Roethlisberger overthrew wide receiver Plaxico Burress near the goal line.

On the next play, Roethlisberger threaded a pass through heavy coverage to Burress at the 1. So much for nervousness or hesitancy.

''I had a chance to throw to Plax for the first time and I overthrew him because I was so excited, so I came back and got him the next time,'' Roethlisberger said. ''The butterflies were gone and it was good to get back out there.''

Williams demoted to second team after skipping practice

Offensive tackle Mike Williams, fined by the team this week for missing a training-camp session, returned to practice - with the second team.

Coach Mike Mularkey fined Williams for missing practice Tuesday, a day after being excused from the second of two practices for personal reasons.

Neither Mularkey nor team president Tom Donahoe would comment on the reason for Williams' absence, saying only that he would be fined each day he was not at practice. They did not disclose the amount of Tuesday's fine.

Williams missed several voluntary minicamp sessions in June because of a death in his family. Mularkey then demoted Williams, saying he wanted to give the tackle more time to learn the offensive system. The coach added he expected Williams to win back his starting job.

Selected fourth overall in the 2002 draft, Williams has been the Bills' starting right tackle since the first game of his rookie season.

Browns’ McCutcheon inks five-year extension

Cornerback Daylon McCutcheon signed a five-year contract extension with Cleveland.

McCutcheon is one of just three players, along with kicker Phil Dawson and safety Earl Little, left from that '99 Browns team that went 2-14. He is the only pick left from their original draft.

The 27-year-old McCutcheon has played 75 games, starting 70, for the Browns, who selected him in third round in 1999 out of Southern California.

The team's best open-field tackler, McCutcheon has eight career interceptions. Last season, he returned his only pick 75 yards for a touchdown in an Oct. 5 win at Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, starting linebacker Chaun Thompson will undergo surgery after breaking a bone in his left wrist. Browns coach Butch Davis said Thompson injured his wrist a few days ago but continued to play with a soft cast.

The second-year linebacker is expected to miss at least the club's first two preseason games.

Quarterback Jeff Garcia suggested that top draft pick Kellen Winslow should end his holdout and join the team.

''It's important to get him here,'' the Browns' new quarterback said. ''It's one of those things where you need to think about the team. You are going to get your riches no matter what, but you need to think about the team.

''This is a team game.''

Meanwhile, the Browns and agent Kevin Poston are as much as $15 million apart.

Arizona’s Dansby agrees to four-year contract

Linebacker Karlos Dansby, the first draft pick in this year's second round, agreed to a four-year contract with Arizona.

The agreement left only defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, Arizona's third-round pick, absent from training camp.

Dansby had 84 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks for Auburn last season, earning all-Southeastern Conference honors for the second straight year. In his 36-game career, he had 218 tackles and 10 sacks.

Chrebet misses Jets practice due to groin injury

Wide receiver Wayne Chrebet strained his groin during the morning practice Wednesday and missed the afternoon session.

Coach Herman Edwards said Chrebet is day to day. This is an important training camp for Chrebet, going into his 10th season. He missed the final eight games of last season with postconcussion syndrome. Chrebet is fully recovered from those problems, and is working as the No. 3 receiver.

He is the latest player to miss time with injuries. First-round pick Jonathan Vilma missed his second day of practice with a sore left calf, but Edwards said the injury isn't serious.

Defensive tackle Josh Evans (left knee), linebacker Eric Barton (left hamstring) and safety Reggie Tongue (left calf) are among key players who also sat out Wednesday. Edwards said all four are day to day.

Injured receivers lead Chiefs to look at youngsters

With three of Kansas City's top four wide receivers out with injury, some promising younger players will get a chance to show what they can do during weekend scrimmages with the Minnesota Vikings.

But the injuries also mean top players in an area where the Chiefs need to improve are missing valuable practice time.

''I'd rather have them out here,'' coach Dick Vermeil said Wednesday. ''The stamina development, the coordination with the quarterback and the scheme, all the little things, the nuances that take place on the practice field.''

The injured players - Eddie Kennison, Johnnie Morton and Marc Boerigter - are expected back within a week, Vermeil said.

Taking full advantage of their chance are a couple of undrafted free agents: Richard Smith from Arkansas and Zack Fletcher from Alabama.

Rice back with Bucs after irregular heart beat

Pro Bowl defensive end Simeon Rice rejoined the Buccaneers, practicing for the first time since an irregular heart beat caused him to miss four days of training camp. The 30-year-old Rice said he was not alarmed when he began feeling heart palpitations and was unable to complete a workout in Arizona two weeks ago because he's occasionally experienced the same thing ever since he was 19.

''I think I'm as good as I ever was,'' the ninth-year pro said. ''I had a little setback, but I think once I get back in rhythm I'll be where I'm supposed to be.''