McAlister, Taylor top players cut

Published 2:34 am Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fred Taylor and Chris McAlister, two former Pro Bowlers, fell victim Monday to the NFL’s annual purge of high-salaried veterans.

The 33-year-old Taylor, Jacksonville’s all-time leading rusher, was cut after 11 seasons as the team continued its offseason makeover. He was due to make $6 million next season.

The 31-year-old McAlister, a three-time Pro Bowler, was cut by Baltimore after 10 seasons. He was scheduled to make $8 million in 2009.

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In another move, the Cincinnati Bengals designated kicker Shayne Graham as their franchise player, leaving three key starters, wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, running back Cedric Benson and left tackle Stacy Andrews who will become free agents on Feb. 27. Graham is guaranteed a salary of $2.483 million next season if he doesn’t negotiate a long-term deal.

Taylor has 11,271 yards rushing and is the 16th leading rusher in NFL history.