With fire out, Kreutz chooses retirement

METAIRIE, La. — Center Olin Kreutz has told the Saints his playing days are over because he has lost his passion for football.

"He has to feel really good about the passion he has got for the game and the love he has got for the game," his agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Friday. "He felt that slipping away, and he's just not someone who can go to work every week and collect a paycheck."

Kreutz, 34, was unavailable for comment.

This week Kreutz met with Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton.

Though Payton wouldn't discuss what was talked about, he said there had been no hint that this was the decision Kreutz would make.

"I think it probably manifested itself later as the season went on," Payton said. "And it was something we had a chance to discuss quite a bit this week."

Payton said the Saints won't make a roster move yet, meaning they are still at the 53-man limit.

In August, Kreutz couldn't agree to a new contract with Chicago, the only team for which he had played, before signing a one-year, $2 million contract with New Orleans. The deal didn't include a signing bonus, so he will be paid only for the weeks he was on the 53-man roster.

After starting the first three games, Kreutz missed two with an injury, ending a string of 137 consecutive starts. He started in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Bucs. He was a six-time Pro Bowl pick and earned All-Pro honors twice.

Brian de la Puente, who started when Kreutz was hurt, will again take over at center.

HARRISON BRAIN SURGERY: Lions running back Jerome Harrison had surgery after a brain tumor was discovered this week, the Detroit Free Press reported. He had been complaining of headaches for a while. Comcast Sports Philadelphia reported that Harrison, who was supposed to be traded to Philadelphia until failing the physical, told Eagles team physician Gary Dorshimer about his pain. Dorshimer ordered an MRI exam, and the tumor showed up during that.

Fellow Lions running back Jahvid Best was ruled out for Sunday's game against Atlanta because of a concussion,

CHARGERS: All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates, who has been out for a month with a foot injury, went through a full practice for the first time this week.

RAIDERS: Kyle Boller will start at quarterback on Sunday ahead of newly acquired Carson Palmer, NFL.com reported, but coach Hue Jackson denied a choice had been made. It's likely both will play after the team traded with the Bengals to get Palmer this week. Also, former FSU kicker Sebastian Janikowski (left hamstring) missed his second straight practice.

RAMS: Quarterback Sam Bradford worked behind closed doors trying to test his left ankle, which has a high sprain, but he did not practice and has not all week. If he can't play, A.J. Feeley will start Sunday at Dallas.

VIKINGS: A bipartisan group of Minnesota state lawmakers opposed to taxpayer subsidies for a new stadium proposed a plan to give the team the Metrodome. The plan from Democratic Sen. John Marty of Roseville and Republican Rep. Linda Runbeck of Circle Pines would transfer ownership of the facility in Minneapolis to the team, contingent on the owners signing a 25-year deal and assuming operating costs. But the team wasn't interested.

OBITUARY: Former guard Gale Gillingham, who replaced Fuzzy Thurston in coach Vince Lombardi's lineup and went on to make the Packers Hall of Fame, died at his home in Minnesota while lifting weights, his son said. Mr. Gillingham was 67.

With fire out, Kreutz chooses retirement 10/21/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 22, 2011 1:16am]

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