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PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NFL : Dolphin Linebacker Offerdahl Retires

Associated Press

Miami Dolphins linebacker John Offerdahl has retired after eight injury-plagued seasons.

Offerdahl, a five-time Pro Bowl selection who spent his entire pro career with the Dolphins, was placed on the reserve-retired list Sunday when teams trimmed rosters to the mandatory 53-player limit.

He appeared in a single exhibition game Friday, when the Dolphins lost to the Vikings, 31-16, and became concerned about his performance.

“I never wanted to be the type of player who is sometimes viewed as a player who should’ve got out of the game earlier,” he said Sunday.

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“There was a moment on the field when I realized that this decision was going to be made. When it came to me, to be honest, I felt sad and at peace. I knew it was my time.”

The Dolphins also waived seven-year offensive tackle Mark Dennis and running back Aaron Craver.

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Ten-year veteran Eric Martin was cut by the New Orleans Saints. Martin, the Saints’ all-time leading receiver, was one of six cuts by the team.

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Martin, the Saints’ seventh-round pick in 1985, topped the team’s list for receptions (532), receiving yards (7,854) and receiving touchdowns (48). He had caught at least one pass in 105 consecutive games, tying him for the seventh-longest streak in NFL history and the third longest current streak.

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Australian-born punter Darren Bennett was among seven players dropped by the San Diego Chargers.

Before this season, Bennett had never punted in the United States. The former Australian Rules Football League long-ball kicking champion earned a tryout with the Chargers after making a positive impression at the team’s mini-camp in May.

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Bennett was the front-runner for the punting spot until John Kidd, San Diego’s punter from 1990-93, was signed as a free agent two weeks ago.

In five preseason games, Bennett averaged 42.5 yards on 13 punts.

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The Philadelphia Eagles released former UCLA defensive lineman Bruce Walker, the 37th player taken in this year’s draft. Walker didn’t play college football last season after being charged with receiving stolen property.

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Coach Rich Kotite proclaimed Walker “a very big disappointment,” adding that he didn’t make the commitment needed to play in the NFL.

A highly recruited player after a stellar high school career at Dominguez High in Compton, Walker was an outside linebacker as a freshman at UCLA before switching to nose tackle.

After getting 122 tackles and three sacks in his first three seasons with the Bruins, he was suspended from the team before the start of his senior season after police found stolen property in an apartment he shared with two other men. Walker, who pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced to community service, said the property belonged to one of his roommates and he was not aware it was stolen.

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The Houston Oilers promoted Bucky Richardson to second string quarterback ahead of Sean Salisbury, who will be asked to take a salary cut. Salisbury, a free agent, signed a one-year deal with a base salary of $700,000 and a signing bonus of $400,000. Richardson has a two-year deal worth $500,000 per season. Cody Carlson is the starter.

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The Washington Redskins made seven personnel moves, but the biggest will be announced Tuesday when Coach Norv Turner reveals whether rookie quarterback Heath Shuler or veteran John Friesz will start the season opener Sept. 4 against Seattle. . . . The Indianapolis Colts decided to keep Don Majkowski and Browning Nagle on their active roster as backups to starting quarterback Jim Harbaugh and waived Paul Justin from Arizona State. The Colts cut running back Rodney Culver, the team’s third-leading rusher last year with 150 yards. . . . Offensive lineman Lance Zeno (UCLA) was among those cut by the Green Bay Packers, who acquired guard Darryl Moore from the Redskins. . . . The Seattle Seahawks cut defensive tackle Matt Werner (UCLA). . . . Middle linebacker Percy Snow, a first-round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1990, was among those cut by the Cleveland Browns. . . . The New York Jets kept rookie quarterback Glenn Foley from Boston College and waived third-year quarterback Jeff Blake. Coach Pete Carroll said wide receiver Rob Moore will try to practice Wednesday with a soft cast encasing his broken left wrist suffered Aug. 13. . . . Former No. 1 draft choices Derek Brown and Jarrod Bunch survived New York Giants cuts. . . . The Dallas Cowboys traded an undisclosed 1996 draft pick to the Chicago Bears for outside linebacker Jim Schwantz of Purdue. The Cowboys also named rookie Chris Boniol from Louisiana Tech as the team’s placekicker. . . . The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived 13-year linebacker Jimmy Williams, a 13-year veteran, and placed injured wide receiver Lawrence Dawsey on the physically unable to perform list. Dawsey, the club’s leading receiver two of the past three seasons, will miss a minimum of six games because of a knee injury. . . . Fourth-year tight end Keith Jennings was among the Chicago Bears cuts. . . . The Minnesota Vikings cut safety Lamar McGriggs, a starter for part of last year. . . . Safety Dion Lambert, who started four games at safety last year, was cut by the New England Patriots. . . . The Pittsburgh Steelers cut kicker David Treadwell, running back Randy Cuthbert and former hurdler Elbert Ellis.


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