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Saturday, August 30, 2008
Updated: August 31, 9:08 PM ET
Bengals cut oft-injured RB Johnson; Perry to start

ESPN.com news services

In the first major surprise of the day, the Bengals informed halfback Rudi Johnson that his contract has been terminated.

Rudi Johnson

Johnson

His agent, Peter Schaffer, confirmed that the Bengals notified him that his client will no longer be with the team. Johnson was in the fourth year of a five-year, $20.7 million contract. Hamstring problems bothered him this summer, and injuries have been a concern for the past couple years.

Johnson came to minicamp in incredible shape. He added muscle and lost body fat.

The release of Johnson gives Chris Perry the starting job. Johnson was scheduled to make $3.65 million this season.

Offensive tackle Willie Anderson was also released by the Bengals. Anderson, 33, was the most tenured Bengal, having played 12 seasons in Cincinnati.

In other cuts news on Saturday:

•  The Atlanta Falcons cut veteran quarterback Joey Harrington, who was the third pick overall in the 2002 draft by the Detroit Lions. D.J. Shockley is the Falcons' No. 3 quarterback behind rookie starter Matt Ryan and Chris Redman.

•  The Houston Texans released 10-year veteran linebacker Rosevelt Colvin.

• The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released former starting quarterback Chris Simms. Simms, 28, has not played in a regular-season game in nearly two years. Simms missed the final 13 games of 2005 after taking several hard hits and having his spleen removed hours after a loss to the Carolina Panthers.

• Jerome McDougle, a former first-round pick, was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles. McDougle had a solid preseason, finishing with a team-high 2 sacks. But that wasn't enough for the Eagles to keep the defensive end around. McDougle has just three sacks in 33 career games.

•  The San Francisco 49ers released underachieving receiver Ashley Lelie. Lelie signed a two-year, $4.3 million deal with San Francisco last year, including a $2 million signing bonus, but he made little impact on his third NFL team. Lelie had just 10 receptions for 115 yards last season while struggling with injuries including a strained quadriceps.

•  The Vikings cut quarterback Brooks Bollinger, which means rookie John David Booty is the third quarterback behind Tarvaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte.

• Drew Henson, the former Michigan quarterback and New York Yankees prospect, was cut by Detroit. He signed last week when quarterback Drew Stanton injured a hand.

• The New England Patriots released quarterback Matt Gutierrez on Saturday and kept Matt Cassel as Tom Brady's backup for a fourth season.

• Cornerback Ricardo Colclough was released by the Carolina Panthers, hours after he was arrested and charged with driving while impaired. Safety Terrence Holt and defensive end Stanley McClover were also among the 22 players cut.

• Former starting fullback Reagan Mauia was among 17 players released by the Miami Dolphins. Mauia was a sixth-round pick out of Hawaii last season and started nine games in 2007. He finished with 10 yards from scrimmage on six touches.

• The Chicago Bears released a pair of 2007 first-day draft picks. Second-round draft pick Dan Bazuin, a defensive end from Central Michigan, and third-round pick Michael Okwo, a linebacker from Stanford, were cut.

Senior writer John Clayton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.