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So it goes in the NFL. One minute you're no longer needed by a team, the next you're snatched up by another and back in the NFL.

Such was the case with wide receivers Nate Lewis and Greg McMurtry, both released by the Los Angeles Rams over the past two days, and picked up together by the Chicago Bears on Tuesday night.On Tuesday, teams had to make cuts to get down to the NFL roster limit of 60. There are usually a few well-known players given their early walking papers, but not many this year.

Lewis, acquired from the San Diego Chargers in the offseason and used as a kick returner and starter in the first three exhibition games, became an expensive victim of the Rams' depth at wide receiver.

The Rams decided to go with a younger set of wide receivers, some of whom earn considerably less than Lewis' $600,000 salary. Lewis, who finished with 38 catches for 463 yards and four touchdowns and returned 33 kickoffs for 684 yards for the Chargers last season, agreed to terms with the Bears hours later. Chicago also came to terms with McMurtry, released Monday by the Rams.

McMurtry, who spent the last four years with New England, caught 22 passes for 241 yards with one touchdown with the Pats last season.


Washington settled on three tight ends - including former University of Utah player Kurt Haws - and may have all their wide receivers following the mandatory cutdown.

Nine players were removed from the roster. Cut were center Matt Elliott, tight end Ray Rowe, defensive end Jason Simmons, linebackers Tyler Lawrence and Gonzalo Floyd, and wide receivers Gregory Clifton and Keith Williams.


Linebacker Darin Jordan, a five-year veteran who battled back from a serious knee injury, was among five players waived.

Also released were cornerback Tomur Barnes, defensive end Jamal Fountaine, fullback Jay Hillman and safety Jackie Kellogg. Rookie offensive lineman Rudy Barber was placed on injured reserve after refusing an injury settlement.

Jordan, 29, a former Northeastern standout who was special teams co-captain last year for San Francisco, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the final 1993 regular-season game and was released in February.

Jordan then re-signed for the league minimum of $162,000 on Aug. 14 following successful rehabilitation.

"His movement was good, and he was athletic as ever," coach George Seifert said, "but it gets to be a game of numbers. Darin's been a heck of a player for us and I don't like not having him on the club."


Tony Meola, the goalkeeper for the U.S. soccer team who played well during the recent World Cup, was waived.

While several of his former teammates were signing lucrative contracts to continue playing soccer overseas, Meola was trying to catch on as an NFL kicker.

Unfortunately for him, he was playing behind one of the best kickers in league history, 38-year-old Nick Lowery.

Meola, dubbed "Captain Hook" by Jets teammates early in camp for his tendency to shank kicks, was signed as a possible designated kickoff man who could learn the ropes from Lowery.

Only one of Meola's five exhibition-game kickoffs reached the end zone, but coach Pete Carroll said the team hopes to keep him around.

"We would like to get him on the practice squad,' Carroll said. "We'll have to see how the numbers fall."


Antonio Langham, the Browns' No. 1 draft pick, will be the starting left cornerback over Donald Frank, acquired in a trade with San Diego.

Langham, the ninth overall pick in the draft, was one of the last first-rounders to sign. He reported to camp nearly three weeks late because of the contract dispute.

The Browns also released eight players, notably offensive lineman Mike Withycombe, a six-year veteran who played with several teams.