Ickey Woods, who led the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl as a rookie in 1988, was released Wednesday following three years of frustrating injuries, including major repairs to both knees.
"After a considerable amount of deliberation, the Bengals decided to release Ickey," first-year coach Dave Shula said.
"By releasing Ickey at this time, he'll have the chance to hook on with another team at this stage of the preseason."
Tampa Bay Bucs coach Sam Wyche, who was Woods' coach in Cincinnati, said the Bucs are not interested in Woods.
The Bengals left Woods unprotected but he had no Plan B offers. He said the move, which accompanies the Bengals' loss of James Brooks to Cleveland, surprised him.
"Any person who gets cut is upset," Woods said. "But I can't let emotion get to me. It might be a blessing in disguise."
Woods, a second-round draft choice from UNLV, rushed for 1,066 yards and 15 touchdowns in 1988. Since then, Woods has rushed for 459 yards.
He blew out his left knee in the second game of the 1989 season, missing that year and half of the 1990 season. Woods injured his right knee in 1991, missing eight games.
The Bengals also picked up the $515,000 contract of wide receiver Brian Brennan, who was waived by the Cleveland Browns.
with Nagle as starter
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. _ Since free agent Ken O'Brien is the New York Jets' only experienced quarterback, it's hard to believe they can afford not to bring him back.
As mandatory as O'Brien's return might seem, it's apparently not certain _ especially after the strides second-year challenger Browning Nagle, a Pinellas Park High School graduate, has made since the team's first minicamp in April.
Coach Bruce Coslet conceded on the final day of minicamp that he is comfortable with the idea that Nagle might be his starter.
"He's improved dramatically in everything he's done _ technique, throwing, touch, running the offense, everything a quarterback has to do," Coslet said.
Dolphins: Dan Marino's wife, Claire, gave birth to their fourth child. Marino's daughter, Alexandra, was born by Caesarean section and weighs 7 pounds, 3 ounces. The couple's three sons range in age from 2 to 5.