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NFL

USF's Blackwell among 10 cut by Jets

By Wire services
Published August 31, 2003

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - The Jets waived 10 players Saturday, including quarterbacks Marquel Blackwell and Todd Husak.

Blackwell, the former USF star, and Husak were expendable after the Jets signed Jamie Martin on Tuesday to help their depth after the loss of Chad Pennington, out 12 weeks with a broken left wrist. Husak signed Monday and played in the preseason finale against the Eagles on Thursday.

Blackwell, a rookie free agent, started against the Eagles and finished the preseason 11-for-18 for 154 yards with two touchdowns in three games.

Since the Jets are keeping Pennington on the active roster, they have four quarterbacks: Vinny Testaverde, Jamie Martin, who eventually will be Testaverde's backup, and Brooks Bollinger, a rookie.

EAGLES: First-round draft pick defensive end Jerome McDougle will miss at least the first two games after injuring his ankle, knee and hip Thursday.

FALCONS: Linebacker Keith Newman was suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. Newman forfeits $124,704 of his base salary. He is eligible to return on Sept. 29, one week after his team hosts the Bucs.

GIANTS: Two key off-season acquisitions were put on injured reserve: long-snapper Ryan Kuehl, with tendinitis in his right elbow, and kicker Mike Hollis, with back problems. The Giants are trying to avoid the special-teams problems they had last season by picking up Carson Dach to snap, and keeping kicker Matt Bryant, who had a decent season last year. The team did not officially disclose the moves, but the players said they had been made. In addition, running back Ron Dayne said he had been told he made the team after some speculation he might be cut.

RAVENS: Kyle Boller will start at quarterback in the regular season opener Sept. 7 at Pittsburgh, winning the job from incumbent Chris Redman. The selection of Boller defies a couple of the league's unwritten rules. Rarely are rookies thrown in at the start of their careers, especially on teams seeking to make the playoffs. And seldom do rookies earn a starting job after holding out. Boller missed a week of training camp. But coach Brian Billick said those rules don't apply to the 19th overall pick out of California: "The physical skills are obvious; anyone that's seen the kid - even in a practice - can recognize that. But his ability to absorb the offense has been shocking to me, and I've been doing this for a while."

REDSKINS: Danny Wuerffel and Gibran Hamdan were released, which means coach Steve Spurrier will start the season with just Patrick Ramsey and Rob Johnson available at quarterback.

"Right now, we're planning on dressing out two and hoping and praying that Patrick doesn't get hurt - or both of them don't get hurt," Spurrier said.

Owner Dan Snyder appeared to have a major say in the decision to release Wuerffel, the Heisman Trophy winner from Florida.

"Any time there's a disagreement around here between coaches and the personnel staff, the owner makes the final call," Spurrier said. "That's the way it's set up. So all decisions are team decisions, and we all support it, and that's where we are right now."

The Redskins also released running back Kenny Watson, who averaged 4.6 yards last season and was their second-leading rusher.

STEELERS: Running back Verron Haynes, drafted in the fifth round out of Georgia in 2002, is the leading candidate to become the third-down back because of a hamstring injury to Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala.

Another possibility, Amos Zereoue, will start as the every-down back, replacing Jerome Bettis.

The team got receiver-kick returner Freddie Milons from the Eagles for a conditional draft pick. Milons, drafted in the fifth round last year out of Alabama, didn't play last season after breaking a leg in Philadelphia's final preseason game. Milons had an 82-yard kickoff return against Pittsburgh when the teams played Aug. 16.

[Last modified August 31, 2003, 01:47:13]


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