No real surprises among NFL cuts

Monday, August 28th 2000, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

One of the things that hurt Dan Reeves in Denver and New York was trying to get involved in personnel decisions as well as coaching.

On Sunday, he released cornerback Michael Booker, his first-ever draft pick as the Atlanta Falcons' coach and general manager in 1997. Reeves had obtained the pick in a trade with Seattle, which used it to take another corner, Shawn Springs, who has made the Pro Bowl twice.

Booker was taken with the 11th overall choice in the 1997 draft.

Overall, there were few surprises as all 31 NFL teams got down to the 53-player limit.

Denver sent cornerback Chris Watson, who sparkled on returns as a rookie last year, to Buffalo for an undisclosed draft choice.

Cleveland placed tackle Orlando Brown on the physically unable to perform list. Brown has been unable to play since being hit in the right eye by a referee's penalty flag in December, and his career is in jeopardy.

Veteran quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver, who started seven games last year for New Orleans, was let go by the Saints. That left Jake Delhomme and Aaron Brooks as the backups to Jeff Blake. The Saints also released former Arkansas standout defensive lineman D.J. Cooper of Mesquite.

The most bizarre episode on cutdown day came in Washington, where coach Norv Turner released former Arena League running back Chad Dukes. He reclaimed him five hours later when he realized he had a roster spot because guard Tre Johnson was suspended for the opening game.

The Redskins did release wide receiver Marcus Stiggers of Colorado and Lake Highlands.

The Bengals cut 11 players including former Texas A&M star Sirr Parker. However, former Aggie Shane Lechler received good news when the Raiders released punter Leo Araguz, giving Lechler the job.

Eight-year veteran Doug Pederson, who began last season as Philadelphia's starting quarterback, was released by the Eagles, leaving Koy Detmer as Donovan McNabb's backup. Pederson or Tolliver could be headed to Cleveland, where Tim Couch needs a veteran backup after a season-ending injury to his backup, Koy Detmer's brother Ty.

Seattle let go of veteran placekicker Todd Peterson, who apparently was beaten out by Kris Heppner, although Seattle coach Mike Holmgren may scan the waiver wire.

New England, desperately seeking a running game, released veteran back Raymont Harris. The Patriots also placed offensive tackle Adrian Klemm, their first-round choice this year, on the physically unable to perform list. But they have only two running backs, second-year-man Kevin Faulk and rookie J.R. Redmond.

Minnesota reached a contract agreement with veteran cornerback Cris Dishman, who was cut earlier in the day by Kansas City.

Carolina released 11-year veteran Anthony Johnson, who in 10 NFL seasons had 2,854 yards rushing.


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