May 21, 2018
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Linebacker James Harrison retires; QB Orton heads to Buffalo; Pats release Worthy, Boyce

By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison announced Saturday that he is retiring.

Harrison, 36, is calling it a career after 12 seasons in the NFL.

“I have made the difficult decision to retire as of today,” he wrote on Facebook. “My love for my family and the need to be there for them outweighs my desire to play the game. I have missed too many experiences with them because I devoted SO much time to my career. My love for the game isn’t strong enough to make up for missing one more birthday or first day of school. I am retiring as a man who is truly grateful for all of his blessings.”

Harrison worked out for the Arizona Cardinals earlier this week, but the team passed on him.

Harrison, one of the most feared pass rushers in the last decade, had 66 sacks in his career. In a three-year span with Pittsburgh from 2008 to 2010, he accumulated 36.5 sacks. He played with the Steelers from 2002 to 2012. He spent last season with the Cincinnati Bengals.


The New England Patriots released defensive tackle Jerel Worthy and wide receiver Josh Boyce, among 19 cuts made by the team on Saturday.

Worthy was let go less than three weeks after acquiring him from the Green Bay Packers. He played just 14 snaps last season after coming back from an ACL tear in 2012. He was a second-round draft pick that year.

Worthy was competing for a spot behind Vince Wilfork and first-round draft choice Dominique Easley.

Boyce, a fourth-round draft pick in 2013, could end up on the team’s practice squad if another team does not claim him.

In addition, rookie LB James Morris was placed on injured reserve.

Others released included long snapper Danny Aiken, linebacker Steve Beauharnais, defensive lineman Jake Bequette, tight end Steve Maneri, offensive lineman Braxston Cave, linebacker Ja’Gared Davis, safety Kanorris Davis, running back Jonas Gray, defensive back DB Daxton Swanson, offensive lineman Jon Halapio, wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, running back Roy Finch, safety Shamiel Gary, defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna, offensive lineman Chris Martin, linebacker Taylor McCuller and defensive lineman L.T. Tuipulotu.


The Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday placed rookie quarterback AJ McCarron on the reserve/non-football injury list.

The former Alabama star has battled shoulder soreness for most of the offseason. He has missed most of training camp as the Bengals have been cautious and limited his workouts.

The Bengals also cut center Trevor Robinson. Robinson, who made the Bengals roster as an undrafted free agent in 2012, started seven games as a rookie. Last year, he appeared in six regular-season games.

Russell Bodine is the only center left on the Cincinnati roster. Kyle Cook, the starter at center last season, was released in March.

The Bengals also parted with 2012 second-round pick Devon Still. The defensive lineman played 10 games last season and eight in 2012.

The other players cut to reach the league-mandated 53-man roster were: defensive tackles Larry Black and David King, tight end Orson Charles, safety Danieal Manning, offensive tackle Will Svitek, wide receivers Cobi Hamilton and Colin Lockett, cornerbacks Onterio McCalebb, Victor Hampton and Lavelle Westbrooks, defensive ends Dontay Moch and Sam Montgomery, running backs Nikita Whitlock and James Wilder and offensive tackle Dan France.

Cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris was placed on the reserve/suspended by commissioner list and will miss the first two games of the season.


Quarterback Kyle Orton came out of his brief retirement by agreeing to contract terms with the Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo News reported Saturday.

Orton refused to report to the Dallas Cowboys this offseason as well as pay back the prorated part of his $3 million signing bonus when he decided to retire.

The Cowboys finally released him in July.

Orton became a free agent and avoided training camp and the exhibition season before agreeing to a one-year deal with a one-year player option with the Bills. He will back up starter EJ Manuel.

Orton appeared in three games last season with Dallas. In nine NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Cowboys, Orton has thrown for 14,661 yards with 81 touchdowns and 57 interceptions in 74 games (69 starts).


The New York Jets released wide receiver Stephen Hill on Saturday after they were unable to trade him, according to Newsday.

Hill was a second-round draft pick in 2012. He struggled over two seasons, making just 24 catches for 342 yards with one touchdown his rookie year and followed that up in 2013 with only 21 receptions for 252 yards with three TDs.

Six months after he was drafted, coach Rex Ryan admitted he did not want the team to draft Hill.

“Well, nothing told me he would (contribute),” Ryan told in September 2012. “Nothing. When I saw the tape (of his collegiate play) I was concerned. But (then-Jets general manager) Mike Tannenbaum and (senior personnel executive) Terry Bradway and all our scouts were adamant about this guy. They were adamant that this guy can do it. He can run all these routes, he had good hands and he’s got 4.2 speed at 6-foot-5. He was the guy they all wanted, but honestly, when it came down to it, a wideout? Not my dream pick. But now that we have him, of course, I want to claim him: ‘Oh, that was my pick.’ But it really wasn’t.”

Eric Decker is the No. 1 receiver on a Jets team that is thin on talent after him.

The Jets also released sixth-round pick quarterback Tajh Boyd. Boyd’s release means that Michael Vick and Matt Simms will back up starter Geno Smith.

Other cuts by the Jets included guard Will Campbell, linebacker Troy Davis, cornerback Brandon Dixon, linebacker A.J. Edds, defensive tackle Tevita Finau, wide receiver Clyde Gates, running back Alex Green, defensive lineman Kerry Hyder, linebacker Garrett McIntyre, safety Rontez Miles, tight end Chris Pantale, cornerback Johnny Patrick, cornerback Dimitri Patterson, tackle Brent Qvale, cornerback Jeremy Reeves, running back Daryl Richardson, guard Caleb Schlauderaff and defensive lineman Zach Thompson.


The Kansas City Chiefs released five-year veteran kicker Ryan Succop on Saturday as the team pared its roster t the 53-man limit.

With the release of Succop, who is the most accurate field goal kicker (81 percent) in team history, the chiefs hand their kicking duties over to rookie Cairo Santos.

Succop was due to make $2 million this season.

The Chiefs also reportedly released right guard Ricky Henry, defensive end Kona Schwenke, safety Jonathan Amaya, tackle J’Marcus Webb, cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, receiver Mark Harrison and cornerback Justin Rogers.


The Chicago Bears cut offensive lineman Eben Britton on Saturday.

Britton was a second-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009. He played 13 games with the Bears last season.

The Bears also cut wide receiver Armanti Edwards, running back Jordan Lynch, tight end Jeron Mastrud, offensive lineman Dennis Roland, offensive lineman Robert Turner, wide receiver Josh Bellamy, center Taylor Boggs, defensive tackle Brandon Dunn, linebacker Jerry Franklin, guard Ryan Groy, linebacker DeDe Lattimore, cornerback Al Louis-Jean, wide receiver Dale Moss, defensive tackle Lee Pegues, defensive tackle Tracy Robertson, safety Marcus Trice, wide receiver Chris Williams, cornerback C.J. Wilson, cornerback Kelvin Hayden, defensive end Austen Lane, and safety M.D. Jennings.


The Tennessee Titans settled on Travis Coons as their kicker after cutting Maikon Bonani on Saturday.

Bonani was three of four on both field goals and extra points during the preseason but was unable to beat out Coons for the job.

The club also released 2011 seventh-round draft pick Tommie Campbell. The cornerback was called for seven penalties during the preseason.

Tennessee also cut tackle Jeff Adams, cornerback Ri’Shard Anderson, running back Antonio Andrews, defensive lineman Chigbo Anunoby, tight end Chase Coffman, linebacker Brandon Copeland, quarterback Dominique Davis, defensive end Marcus Dixon, linebacker Moise Fokou, wide receiver Marc Mariani, guard Justin McCray, fullback Collin Mooney, offensive lineman Eric Olsen, tackle William Poehls, wide receiver Rico Richardson, wide receiver Brian Robiskie, tight end Jason Schepler and cornerback Winston Wright.


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