Salary-cap casualties

With the league offices closed over the weekend, Monday became the day when the NFL made the cuts official. The releases helped clear salary cap room for several organizations. All NFL teams are restricted by the salary cap set at $71.7 million for the 2002-03 season.

The following players were released:

Atlanta: Jamal Anderson, RB-Lingering injuries and the addition of Warrick Dunn and first-round draft choice T.J. Duckett made Anderson the odd-man out in Atlanta's crowded backfield.

Rodney Thomas, RB-Thomas' release, along with that of Jamal Anderson, certainly clears up Atlanta's backfield.

Buffalo: John Fina, OT-The signing of Trey Teague and the drafting of Mike Williams left Fina without a spot on the Bills roster.

Detroit: Charlie Batch, QB-Matt Millen and Marty Mornhinweg are high on Mike McMahon, and with Joey Harrington waiting in the wings, the hourglass ran out for Batch in the Motor City.

Herman Moore, WR-Moore's production has been on the decline the past couple seasons, and the addition of Az-Zahir Hahim and Bill Schroeder made his release more imminent.

Green Bay: Antonio Freeman, WR-In one off-season, Brett Favre lost two of his favorite targets (the other being Bill Schroeder, who signed with the Lions). Expect Freeman to land on his feet while Terry Glenn assumes his post in Green Bay's receiving corps.

Jacksonville: Keenan McCardell, WR-A six-year stint in Jacksonville ends as a chance to play for a new team begins. McCardell hasn't missed an NFL game since 1998.

Hardy Nickerson, LB-Had 88 tackles and three interceptions, but no sacks in 2001.

Kansas City: Derrick Alexander, WR-Career-year numbers from 2000 make Alexander a tempting player, but not in Kansas City where Johnnie Morton signed earlier this off-season.

Pittsburgh: Mike Jones, LB-Kendrell Bell's amazing rookie season at inside linebacker paved the way for this release.

Washington: Marco Coleman, DE-Plain and simply, a move necessitated by salary-cap constraints. Coleman's leadership in the locker room will be missed, but he'll no doubt catch on quickly with another team.

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