NFL notes

Giants release Ahmad Bradshaw, Chris Canty

The New York Giants continued their roster purge after missing the playoffs, cutting leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty.

The salary cap-saving moves on Wednesday came one day after New York let starting weakside linebacker Michael Boley go after four seasons. The Giants also waived defensive tackle Martin Parker, who spent this past season on injured reserve with a back injury.

Bradshaw, Canty and Boley were all veterans who contributed to the Giants' Super Bowl win over the Patriots a year ago, but they all had big contracts and battled injuries.

Bradshaw, who has had knee and ankle injuries, was to earn $4.25 million. He became expendable with the play of rookie David Wilson. Canty, who had knee issues with the Giants after never missing a game with Dallas, was to earn $6.5 million next season. Boley, who had shoulder and hamstring injuries last season, was to make $4 million this season.

The biggest surprise might have been the release of Bradshaw, who was one of the emotional leaders of the team.

The 26-year-old, who played on two Super Bowl championship teams with the Giants, led the team in rushing each of the past three seasons, gaining 1,015 this past season.

"Pound for pound, Bradshaw is one of the toughest football players that I've been around," said general manager Jerry Reese, who took Bradshaw with the 250th pick in the 2007 draft. "Ahmad played football like Giants football should be played."

One of the moments fans will remember is Bradshaw yelling at coach Tom Coughlin during a game this past season, saying he wanted the ball more. Coughlin had no problems with his fire.

"He is not only an exceptional football player, but he is the epitome of line up and play," Coughlin said. "Regardless of the circumstances, he's going to give you everything he's got. If you give the ball to him, he's going to get every inch of what is there - and sometimes when it's not blocked, he still gets it."

Bradshaw is sixth on the franchise's career rushing list with 4,232 yards and seventh with 921 rushing attempts. He rushed for 32 touchdowns, the ninth-highest total in team history.

In his six seasons, he played in 84 regular-season games with 33 starts. He also caught 132 passes for 1,087 yards and three touchdowns.

The Giants' first-round draft choice in 2012, Wilson rushed for 358 yards and four scores and also set a franchise record with 1,533 kickoff return yards. He will be backed up by Andre Brown, who rushed for 385 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns before breaking his leg in late November.

Canty was signed in 2009 and played in 49 regular-season games with 45 starts, including all 20 games in the 2011 Super Bowl run. He had 155 tackles and nine sacks.

Canty missed the first six games of last season after having offseason knee surgery. He had 31 tackles and three sacks this past season, missing the finale because of a knee injury.

Linval Joseph started at the other tackle for New York, which also has youngsters Marvin Austin and Markus Kuhn returning along with veteran Rocky Bernard.

Driver calls it a career

Donald Driver found a way to retire in style.

On Wednesday, the popular Green Bay Packers wide receiver celebrated his 14-year career during an event at Lambeau Field with family, friends, a handful of teammates and 1,500 fans who filled the atrium and lined balconies to get a glimpse of him.

"I told myself I wasn't going to cry today, so I'm going to hold the emotion back as much as possible. I love you all so much," said Driver, who retired after catching 743 passes for 10,137 yards after making the team as a seventh-round draft pick out of Alcorn State in 1999.

"It was a tough decision, but my family and I felt it was time for the next chapter in our life."

Driver praised the fans who stood in line in subzero temperatures last week for a chance to get tickets to the event, which drew more than 10,000 viewers to the Packers.com online stream and was also carried live on television stations across the state.

Governor Scott Walker announced Wednesday was "Donald Driver Day" in the state of Wisconsin, and Mayor Jim Schmitt announced that a downtown Green Bay street will be renamed "Donald Driver Way." In addition, the statue, "The Receiver," will be repainted to represent Driver, replacing the generic player wearing No. 88 it now depicts.

State police: crash did kill Walker's aunt, uncle

A fiery crash hours after the Super Bowl killed relatives of San Francisco 49ers tight end Delanie Walker, Louisiana State Police said Wednesday.

The crash about 5:30 a.m. Monday killed Alice and Bryan Young Sr. of Victorville, Calif., Trooper Melissa Matey said.

Walker said in a Twitter posting that his aunt and uncle of the same name were killed "by a drunk" at 5 a.m. Monday. The message's subject line read, "Horrible."

Matey said the Youngs' vehicle was stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 10 in LaPlace, just west of New Orleans, when it was hit by a car driven by 26-year-old Nechole T. Thomas of Houston.

Her 2002 Mercedes slammed their 2012 Nissan Altima from behind at high speed, Matey said. Both cars caught fire and the Youngs' bodies were not found until the blaze was out.

Matey said it took until Wednesday afternoon for the coroner to identify the Youngs.

Thomas escaped with minor injuries and was jailed on charges of reckless driving, drunken driving and two counts of vehicular homicide - a death involving a drunken driver. Her bond is set at $300,000.

Online jail records do not indicate whether she has an attorney.

Raiders to tarp off part of upper deck

The Oakland Raiders are tarping off about 10,000 seats at the Coliseum to reduce capacity to approximately 53,250 next season.

Raiders CEO Amy Trask announced Wednesday that tarps will be put over the third deck on the East side of the stadium to make it easier to sell games out and to create a better game-day environment.

About 4,850 fans will be relocated with the price of their season tickets cut from $260 to $250. Other season-ticket holders on the West side will see the price of their season tickets drop by as much as $360.

The Raiders' average attendance last season was 54,217 when they needed to sell only 85 percent of the seats to avoid local blackouts. This season, they will need a sellout to have games televised locally.

Hide Comments

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments