FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Brandon Meriweather, Tommie Harris and Larry Johnson are former Pro Bowl players now looking for jobs.
The three were among hundreds of players cut Saturday as NFL teams got down to the mandatory 53-man roster maximum just five days before New Orleans and Green Bay kick off the regular season.
Cancer survivor Mark Herzlich made the New York Giants’ roster after being signed as a free agent out of Boston College. The linebacker, who beat a rare form of bone cancer in college, was on the bubble – and still may be as teams search the waiver wire – but he’s on the Giants’ roster for now.
“Herzlich didn’t bat an eye the whole camp,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “Physically, he did everything you asked and more. I saw him improve literally week by week.”
Meriweather was a first-round pick of New England who has played in 64 games over four seasons. He has 12 interceptions, including a career-high five in 2008 when he earned the first of two straight Pro Bowl selections. Also among the Patriots’ cuts were running back Sammy Morris, a 12-year veteran, and wide receiver Brandon Tate.
Harris, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, was hoping to revive his career in Indianapolis, but was among 27 waived by the Colts. He was a key cog in Chicago’s Super Bowl run during the 2006 season, but was hindered by injuries the past three seasons and released by the Bears in February before the lockout.
Four other veteran free agents signed by Indianapolis – defensive linemen Jamaal Anderson and Tyler Braxton, quarterback Kerry Collins and linebacker Ernie Sims – all made the roster.
Johnson, a two-time Pro Bowl running back, was among those released by Miami. The Dolphins signed him last week after he sat out most of last season when his career was derailed by injuries and a series of off-the-field missteps.
Tampa Bay cut former Eastern Washington University tight end Nathan Overbay.