NFL Nation: Roger Allen

Olindo Mare, who received a huge contract from the Carolina Panthers last year, won’t be handling the kickoff duties for the team this year.

The Panthers announced Monday that Mare has been released. Presumably, that means former Canadian League player Justin Medlock has won what was a competition for Carolina’s kicking job throughout the preseason.

Mare’s signing last year caused controversy because the Panthers released John Kasay, the final remaining player from their 1995 expansion team, to make room for Mare. The thinking was that Mare was as accurate as Kasay and could also handle kickoff duties. But Mare had a disappointing 2011 season and missed some crucial field-goal attempts. The Panthers brought Medlock in as competition and decided to let Mare go.

Although the Panthers gave Mare a four-year, $12 million contract last year, the salary-cap implications of his release are minimal. Mare was scheduled to count $3.2 million against this year’s salary cap. By releasing him, the Panthers still will be responsible for $3.1 million.

The kicker job isn’t the only area where the Panthers are going in a younger direction. They also released veteran Nick Harris. That means the Panthers are ready to go with rookie Brad Nortman as their punter. The Panthers drafted Nortman in the sixth round. They brought in Harris to compete with him and Nortman won the job.

As Carolina trimmed its roster to 75 players, there were several other moves of note.

Receiver David Gettis, who missed last season with a knee injury, has been placed on the physically unable to perform list. Gettis, who had been considered a candidate to start, wasn’t able to get healthy enough during the preseason. By going on PUP, Gettis now can be activated after six games. The Panthers also placed cornerback Brandon Hogan on the reserve/injured list. Hogan had been considered a candidate for significant playing time, but he also was slow in recovering from a knee issue. In the next five days, it will be decided if Hogan will take an injury settlement, be placed on injured reserve for the entire season or be released.

The Panthers also waived receiver Darvin Adams, guard Roger Allen, receiver Michael Avila, receiver Brenton Bersin, guard Will Blackwell, defensive end Eric Norwood, running back Lyndon Rowells, tight end Greg Smith, running back Josh Vaughan and receiver Rico Wallace.
As friend and former co-worker Scott Fowler first reported earlier Tuesday, John Kasay is staying in the NFC South.

He has signed with the New Orleans Saints. The team just sent out the official announcement. Kasay’s signing comes after kicker Garrett Hartley injured his hip in Sunday’s preseason game. We still don’t know how serious Hartley’s injury is and if Kasay’s stay will be for the short term or the long term.

Kasay hit 86.2 percent of his field-goal attempts last season and was the last remaining player from the 1995 expansion Panthers. He was released partly because the Panthers didn’t want to carry a kickoff specialist and Kasay hadn’t handled kickoffs in several years. The Panthers brought in Olindo Mare to handle place-kicking and kickoff duties. Kickoffs won’t be a problem for the Saints because punter Thomas Morstead can do that.

The Saints also confirmed the release of defensive end Alex Brown. In other moves to get down to Tuesday’s 80-man roster limit, the Saints waived the following players and designated them as injured – guard Roger Allen, linebacker Ezra Butler, receiver Jarred Fayson and running back Chris Taylor. The Saints also waived receiver John Chiles, tackle Dan Gay, fullback Kolby Hurt, safety DeAndre McDaniel, cornerback Mark Parson and center Ryan Taylor.

First impressions from Rams practice

August, 16, 2010
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Thoughts after watching the St. Louis Rams practice Monday for the first time since their exhibition opener Saturday night:
  • The only breaks the Rams seem to catch on their offensive line are the ones they find through X-rays. Starting left tackle Rodger Saffold was the latest victim. He left practice Monday with a back injury of unknown severity. A teammate fell into Saffold's back while Saffold was blocking. Trainers tended to Saffold while the rookie sat on the grass with his legs outstretched. They brought him to his feet and then wrapped his midsection (presumably with ice). Saffold walked off the field slowly and appeared to be favoring his left side (he wears a knee brace on his right leg).
  • Bradford
    Sam Bradford's timing and accuracy jump out right away. Seven-on-seven drills look like an extension of his pro day. Sometimes the ball arrives on target before the safeties can turn around. There is no pass-rush during seven-on-seven drills, of course.
  • Bradford and veteran A.J. Feeley split the first- and second-team reps equally, a slight change designed to get more work for Feeley as the season progresses.
  • Defensive end Victory Adeyanju did not finish practice after injuring his left knee. The severity of the injury was not yet known. Adeyanju is a strong run defender.
  • The linebackers fared better than the running backs during blitz-pickup drills.
  • Veteran safety Oshiomogho Atogwe spent extra time after practice working on catching the ball. He dropped one potential interception and failed to fully break up another pass (the ball bounced into the arms of its intended receiver, Darcy Johnson, for a touchdown).
  • Coach Steve Spagnuolo focuses on much more than just the defense. He was in the offensive huddle between plays during a goal-line period. He was also taking a special interest in pass-protection work after the line struggled to protect Bradford during the game Saturday night.
  • Rookie receiver Mardy Gilyard did not play for the Boston Celtics during the 1980s, but the Larry Bird shorts he wears during practice would have fit in back then. Gilyard has his own style and flair. He's been hurt recently, but he was practicing Monday and looks the part (minus those shorts).
  • Players benefited from temperatures in the 80s, some 20 degrees cooler than highs earlier in camp. Temperatures on the artificial field can hit 140 degrees when the St. Louis weather is at its hottest.
  • Despite the favorable weather, Spagnuolo said he thought the team was still a little sluggish. That is typical for the first practice following a game.
  • Running back Steven Jackson is moving well. I could see no evidence of the back surgery he underwent this offseason. If anything, Jackson appears even fresher than normal. He did not play Saturday night and the team has limited his full-contact work. Jackson looked great catching a one-handed pass over the middle in stride.
  • Two outstanding individual plays I saw: guard Roger Allen III putting defensive tackle Clifton Ryan on his back, and rookie defensive end Hall Davis pushing down tackle Eric Young (to the point that Young fell into Feeley's legs, forcing the quarterback to move).
  • Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis stood out with an interception off Feeley early in practice and a successful pass-rush battle against running back Kenneth Darby.

The Rams have two practices Tuesday. I'll be at both and hope to get a better feel for the team as the week progresses.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Anquan Boldin reported late to training camp after doubling back to pick up two teammates' whose vehicle had broken down. Does the collective bargaining agreement allow him to submit for mileage reimbursement?

Also from Somers: All Cardinals players made their weight targets, including Alan Branch. Tight end Stephen Spach has been cleared to practice once a day following ACL surgery.

Darren Urban of says the mood was light as players reported for camp, with coach Ken Whisenhunt and quarterback Kurt Warner exchanging friendly banter in front of reporters.

Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind singles out Chike Okeafor, Lyle Sendlein and Gabe Watson as Cardinals players entering pivotal seasons.

Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts expects Josh Wilson to compete hard for the starting job at right cornerback even though Ken Lucas is the heavy favorite to emerge in the No. 1 role.

Clare Farnsworth of examines changes to training camp as the team holds its first one at its new facility.

Nick Wagoner of checks in with second-round Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis, who was happy to sign in time for training camp. Laurinaitis: "You don't want anyone to think of you as that guy holding out. You don't want that label on you and I am just glad it's all over with. A lot of guys do mean it when they say they want to be in camp on time. You are missing a lot of football, a lot of good teaching if you hold out."

Also from Wagoner: audio from his conversation with Bernie Miklasz of 101ESPN St. Louis. Wagoner points to Daniel Fells, Roger Allen, Phil Trautwein and Larry Grant as lesser-known players who could make an impact in training camp.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch expects the Rams to reach agreement with first-round choice Jason Smith in the near future. That would probably help the Seahawke define the market for Aaron Curry. Smith and Curry were the only non-quarterbacks drafted among the top four overall choices.

VanRam of Turf Show Times points to Mike Karney's addition as an important offseason move by the Rams. Might Karney help in the red zone?

Patrick Hooper of passes along Demetric Evans' thoughts on playing in Greg Manusky's defense. Evans: "[Manusky] told me that the 3-4 they run is not the typical 3-4, where you are just holding blocks. They allow the d-linemen to get up the field and make plays."

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle offers Mike Singletary's reflections on missing training camp when Singletary was a player. Singletary: "I'm a guy of principle. I was prepared to sit out for the whole duration. It worked out."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat details the 49ers' roster moves and says the team expects to sign a defensive lineman while Michael Crabtree's absence leaves open a roster spot.

Bob Padecky of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat assesses Alex Smith's chances to right his career. Smith says he's throwing the ball effortlessly, a big change from his injury-plagued past.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says 49ers rookie Ricky Jean-Francois is suffering from a stomach ailment. The note allowed Barrows to work in a rare reference to Pannel Egboh.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News poses five questions facing the 49ers this summer. Can the 49ers field a top-10 defense? I think they can with some help from the offense.

Andrew Davidson of Niners Nation assesses the fantasy prospects of 49ers players. Davidson: "Let me begin by saying do not draft Shaun Hill if you are playing in a standard league. ... A player like Shaun Hill won't serve a lot of fantasy purpose, mainly because there are 32 starting QBs in the NFL, and you'll be fighting for one of the top 12. It is safe to say Shaun Hill is not a top 12 quarterback in fantasy football (or the NFL)." Will Hill start?