Backup QBs Kafka, Hoyer, Wallace cut
AP Pro Football Writer
Backup quarterbacks were prominent among players cut early Friday as team’s needed to get down to the 53-man roster limit.
Nine-year veteran Seneca Wallace was beaten out by Colt McCoy in Cleveland, Mike Kafka fell to rookie Nick Foles and journeyman Trent Edwards in Philadelphia, Brian Hoyer got axed in New England, and Josh McCown was released by Chicago.
Other veterans released as team’s prepare for the regular season, which begins Wednesday night with Dallas at the New York Giants, included 2005 Super Bowl MVP receiver Deion Branch and center Dan Koppen in New England; defensive backs Joselio Hanson and O.J. Atogwe in Philadelphia; Pittsburgh offensive lineman Trai Essex and punter Jeremy Kapinos, who were waived injured; Buffalo DT Dwan Edwards; and Giants running back D.J. Ware, who won two Super Bowls with the team.
All teams must reach the 53-man maximum by 9 p.m. EDT Friday.
The 31-year-old Wallace spent two seasons with the Browns, who acquired him in a 2011 trade from Seattle, where he played for Browns President Mike Holmgren. Wallace started seven games for Cleveland.
Kafka, a fourth-round pick in 2010, appeared in four games last year. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 107 yards with two interceptions. Kafka played in one preseason game this summer before breaking his non-throwing hand.
“There was great competition at the quarterback position,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “That’s what football and training camp is all about. In the end, we had to make the difficult decision to let Mike Kafka go. Mike is a class act, a student of the game and a great person and I think he’ll have no problem finding a job in the National Football League very soon.”
Hoyer was Tom Brady’s backup the last three years, but lost the job to Troy Mallette.
Branch tweeted: “Truly thankful for all the support from everybody. I Love You guys (hash)LovePeaceandHappiness.”
He won two rings with the Patriots and tied a Super Bowl record with 11 catches for 133 yards against Philadelphia when he was voted MVP in 2005. He was the first receiver to win the honor since San Francisco’s Jerry Rice in 1989.
McCown was coaching quarterbacks at a North Carolina high school and hadn’t taken an NFL snap since 2009 when the Bears signed him last November with Jay Cutler sidelined by a broken right thumb. McCown appeared in three games, starting two, but the Bears have Jason Campbell as their No. 2 QB.