NFL teams cut backup quarterbacks
Backup quarterbacks were prominent among players cut early Friday as team’s needed to get down to the 53-man roster limit.
Nine-year veteran Seneca Wallace (formerly Seattle) was beaten out by Colt McCoy in Cleveland, Mike Kafka fell to rookie Nick Foles and journeyman Trent Edwards in Philadelphia, Brian Hoyer got axed in New England, and Josh McCown was released by Chicago.
The Seattle Seahawks kept veteran wide receivers Braylon Edwards and Ben Obomanu on their final 53-man roster and waived returning young receivers Deon Butler, Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette.
Seattle also activated offensive lineman James Carpenter from the physically unable to perform list.
Other veterans released as team’s prepare for the regular season, which begins Wednesday night with Dallas at the New York Giants, included 2005 Super Bowl MVP receiver Deion Branch and center Dan Koppen in New England; defensive backs Joselio Hanson and O.J. Atogwe in Philadelphia; Pittsburgh offensive lineman Trai Essex and punter Jeremy Kapinos, who were waived injured; Buffalo DT Dwan Edwards; and Giants running back D.J. Ware, who won two Super Bowls with the team.
All teams had to reach the reach the 53-man maximum by Friday night.
NFL, officials talking
The NFL and its on-field officials’ union began negotiating again, hoping to end the lockout that resulted in replacement officials working the preseason.
With talks reopening for the first time in more than a month, the regular officials could be back to work before the Cowboys visit the Giants on Wednesday night to open the schedule.
Among the NFL’s proposal is hiring seven fulltime officials – one per position of referee, umpire, line judge, side judge, back judge, field judge, head linesman – who would train, scout, handle communications, safety issues and rules interpretations year-round.
Skelton to start
John Skelton, a fifth-round draft pick who took the unlikely route from El Paso to Fordham to the NFL, is the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt announced his decision to go with Skelton over Kevin Kolb.
The Cardinals made the decision despite their significant investment in Kolb, who was acquired just before last season in a trade that sent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick to Philadelphia.
Texans fan dead
A 25-year-old fan died after tumbling about 60 feet from a fifth-floor escalator at Reliant Stadium during a preseason Houston Texans game, officials said.
Jonathon Kelly of Houston fell to the ground floor during the Thursday night game against the Minnesota Vikings, and witnesses called police to report where his body had landed, police spokesman John Cannon said. The fall appeared to be an accident, according to police, who didn’t immediately release the victim’s name pending notification of his family.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote an open letter to fans explaining the NFL’s strict policy against bounty systems such as the one league investigators have said they uncovered in New Orleans. … Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson was suspended indefinitely without pay by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. … Minnesota Vikings rookie safety Harrison Smith has been fined $21,000 by the NFL for a hit on San Diego Chargers receiver Mike Willie on Aug. 24.
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