Patriots release J. Lynch

The Baltimore Sun

John Lynch, the longtime Pro Bowl safety signed by New England two weeks ago, was released by the Patriots yesterday.

"It goes without saying, but John is an all-time great safety, one of the league's classiest professionals, and his elite play speaks for itself," coach Bill Belichick said of Lynch, who turns 37 on Sept. 25. "As has been the case in other situations, I would not rule anything out down the road."

During their decade-long run of success, the Patriots have regularly signed veterans and often released them, only to sign them again if needed. Lynch has played 15 seasons - 11 in Tampa Bay and four in Denver.

"I have no regrets about my time thus far with the Patriots," Lynch said in a statement.

DOLPHINS: Miami signed Ricky Williams to a one-year contract extension through the 2009 season. General manager Jeff Ireland said the team wanted to keep the running back, 31, so "he didn't become a free agent" after this season.

GIANTS: New York shored up its defensive end position by signing former Philadelphia first-round pick Jerome McDougle. The Super Bowl champions lost seven-time Pro Bowler Michael Strahan to retirement in June, and then two-time Pro Bowler Osi Umenyiora was sidelined with a season-ending knee injury a little more than a week ago in a game against the Jets. A first-round pick in 2003, McDougle was cut by the Eagles on Saturday.

BILLS: The holdout by Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters is raising questions about whether he intends to start missing regular-season games in an attempt to force the team to renegotiate the final three years he has left on his contract. Peters now stands to be fined more than $191,000 - or one-seventeenth of his $3.25 million base salary this season - for each week he misses. The Bills have already fined him about $550,000 for missing training camp, which opened July 25, as well as more than $8,600 for missing two mandatory minicamp sessions in June.

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