Football

Ricky Ray among NFL casualties

The New York Jets cut former Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray on Sunday as NFL teams finalized their 53-man season-opening rosters.

Ray threw for 4,640 yards and 35 touchdowns last year, as he guided the Eskimos to its first Grey Cup title in a decade.

He decided to try his luck in the NFL and signed with the Jets in the off-season as a CFL option-year player.

Ray completed 13-of-24 passes for 108 yards in pre-season action for the Jets, but he became expendable when the Jets acquired Quincy Carter from Dallas to serve as a backup to starter Chad Pennington.

The Sacramento State product could return to the Eskimos to play out the remainder of his CFL deal if he clears waivers. Another possibility for the 24-year-old would be signing on with an NFL team's practice roster.

Ray first tried to catch on in the NFL when he worked out with the San Francisco 49ers in 2001 before heading north where he played for Edmonton from 2002-03.

During his two-year stay in Edmonton, he led the club to a pair of West Division titles and two Grey Cup appearances, winning once.

Former CFL star Doug Flutie survived the final cuts by the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, just as coach Marty Schottenheimer promised.

There had been speculation that Flutie, 41, would be cut or traded by Sunday's deadline to reduce the roster to 53. Instead, the Chargers will carry Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Flutie and Cleo Lemon at quarterback.

The Chargers also released wide receiver Kevin Dyson, a member of Super Bowl teams with the Titans and Panthers, and safety Kwamie Lassiter, a nine-year veteran.

New England, the reported destination of Flutie were he to be cut, released veteran cornerback Terrell Buckley. Buckley has hoping to catch on for a second stint with the Patriots, having also played for Miami, Denver and Green Bay.

Buffalo heralded the signing of linebacker Jason Gildon at a press conference just over a month ago. On Sunday, the three-time Pro Bowler was released.

It was hoped that Gildon, the all-time Steeler sack leader, would improve the Bills' pass rush. Gildon was cut by Pittsburgh in June for salary cap reasons.

Ken Simonton fell victim to a crowded Bills' backfield. The one-time NFL Europe MVP had been impressive in the preseason, but so had rookie Shaud Williams, who'll be third on the depth chart behind Travis Henry and Willis McGahee.

Buffalo placed quarterback Travis Brown on injured reserve, ending his season. Brown suffered a left knee sprain in a preseason game against Indianapolis.

In Miami, veteran wide receiver Antonio Freeman was let go. A longtime Green Bay Packer, Freeman had been brought in after David Boston went down with a season-ending injury, but became expendable when the Dolphins obtained Marty Booker in a trade from Chicago.

Another former Packer was sent packing on Sunday. Dorsey Levens, signed by Philadelpha after running back Correll Buckhalter went down with a season-ending injury, was let go.

Green Bay made news of their own, releasing Tim Couch after the quarterback had a disastrous preseason. The on-and-off starter for Cleveland the previous five seasons, Couch was released by the Browns in June and brought in by the Packers to back up Brett Favre.

New Orleans jettisoned several veterans, including centre Jerry Fontenot, linebacker Darrin Smith, and running back Lamar Smith.

Others let go include Reggie Swinton, released by Detroit; Matt Bryant, the one-time New York Giant kicker brought into Dallas' camp to challenge Billy Cundiff; tight ends Jed Weaver and Byron Chamberlain, let go by Denver; Walter Payton's son, Jarrett, cut by Tennessee; and Cory Sauter, who lost the Indianapolis Colts' backup quarterback job to Joe Hamilton.

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