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PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NFL

Bears Cut Butler in Favor of Rookie

August 24, 1996|Associated Press

Kevin Butler, the Chicago Bears' last link to their 1985 Super Bowl season and career points leader, was cut as the team decided to go with younger and less-expensive rookie Carlos Huerta, a former walk-on at the University of Miami.

"It was really close. We had to look at it and say, 'Is Carlos a guy we believe can do it?' And the decision was yes," Chicago Coach Dave Wannstedt said. The Bears have only eight players left who played under Mike Ditka. Butler, an 11-year veteran, has scored 1,116 points, fifth best among active players.

During the exhibition season, Butler didn't miss on three field-goal attempts. Huerta, who kicked a 27-yarder through the rain against the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night, was three for four in exhibitions.

Money may have been a consideration. Butler was scheduled to make a base salary of $500,000 this season and Huerta, 27, the league minimum of $130,000.

Wannstedt also said that running back Rashaan Salaam has a sprained right knee and a pulled hamstring and his status will be evaluated daily. He was injured in the first quarter against Kansas City.

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Looking for additional help with the pass rush, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed former Pro Bowl defensive end Clyde Simmons, who was cut by the Arizona Cardinals earlier this week. To make room on the roster, the Jaguars waived defensive tackle Corey Mayfield.

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The Dallas Cowboys bolstered their defense with another former Green Bay player, signing safety George Teague to a one-year contract. The Cowboys hope Teague can strengthen a secondary weakened by injuries. Dallas previously added middle linebacker Fred Strickland, who started for the Packers last season. The Atlanta Falcons traded for Teague in the offseason, but released him during training camp.

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Hugh Millen, the free-agent quarterback the New Orleans Saints signed this spring to provide experience at backup, was cut to make room for defensive end Darren Mickell. Millen failed to beat out Tommy Hodson, last year's No. 2 quarterback, or Doug Nussmeier, a No. 4 draft pick in 1994 who has never taken a snap in a regular-season game.

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