NFL notes: Steelers split with longtime kicker
For eight years, the Pittsburgh Steelers tolerated Jeff Reed’s off-field incidents and had no issues with his platinum-dyed hair and quirkiness. What they couldn’t forgive were his misses. Reed has missed 7 of 22 attempts overall this season.
Reed, who began the season as one of the 10 most accurate kickers in NFL history but has been erratic all season, was cut Tuesday and replaced by former Redskins and Cowboys kicker Shaun Suisham.
Suisham was signed immediately after working out at Heinz Field, where Reed blamed the slippery, unstable turf for his 26-yard miss against the Patriots on Sunday.
“It’s unlike other positions where you can simply bench someone and go to their backup,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “There’s only one kicker on a football team, so you don’t make a decision lightly when you have to make a move. We’re very respectful of the cumulative body of work by Jeff here, but at this time we felt it was appropriate to make a change.”
Players Association proposes 2 bye weeks
The NFL Players Association wants two bye weeks and bigger rosters to accept the league’s proposed 18-game regular season.
A person familiar with the negotiations told the AP that the union’s counterproposal also includes a potential expansion of practice squad size and a two-thirds reduction of offseason workouts.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the details.
The owners want to play 18 regular-season and two preseason games instead of the current breakdown of 16 and four. That’s one issue to be hashed out during the collective bargaining negotiations between the league and the union. The current agreement expires in March, raising fears of a potential lockout.
Around the league
Unsure of Jimmy Clausen’s status because of a concussion, the Carolina Panthers have promoted quarterback Brian St. Pierre from the practice squad. … Arizona Cardinals offensive right tackle Brandon Keith is out for the remainder of the season because of hamstring and knee injuries. … The Cleveland Browns waived backup quarterback Brett Ratliff along with punter Dave Zastudil, who had been on injured reserve with a knee injury. … Prosecutors in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., have dropped a felony aggravated battery charge against Miami Dolphins reserve defensive end Phillip Merling. Merling had been charged with attacking his pregnant girlfriend. But it was said that the woman had moved to her parents’ house in South Carolina and authorities have been unable to serve her a subpoena to have her return to Florida to testify against Merling.
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