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Saxon In Then Out As Viking Punter

Early Monday afternoon, Minnesota Viking Coach Dennis Green introduced Mike Saxon as his punter to about 700 people at a publicity luncheon.

About an hour later, the Vikings released Saxon.

After 11 seasons in the NFL, the last two in Minnesota, Saxon was let go in a surprising move the team said was needed to make room for special teams help. The situation was created because of injuries at linebacker and cornerback, and Saxon was expendable because kickoff specialist Mitch Berger also can punt.

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The San Francisco 49ers settled a summer-long competition by naming Derrick Deese the starter at right guard. Deese edged Rod Milstead for the job. . . . The St. Louis Rams traded wide receiver Todd Kinchen to the Denver Broncos for an undisclosed draft choice. . . . The Carolina Panthers changed third-string quarterbacks by releasing Kelly Stouffer, 32, and claiming Jay Barker one day after he was waived by New England. . . . Rookie Leeland McElroy will start at running back for the Arizona Cardinals. . . . New York Giant running back Tyrone Wheatley practiced after sitting out three weeks because of a stress fracture.


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