The season opener between the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants could feature a pair of rookie running backs as starters.
Arizona coach Vince Tobin decided Monday to move Thomas Jones, the No. 7 overall pick from Virginia, ahead of Michael Pittman, who started all four preseason games.
"Sometimes you have to go with your gut feeling," Tobin said. "Thomas has shown progress in training camp and all through the preseason."
The Giants will likely start their top draft pick, Ron Dayne, chosen 11th overall.
Jones, the second running back selected in the draft, shrugged off the starting role as no big deal.
"It doesn't matter whether you start or not," he said. "What matters is at the end of the game how many yards you have, how many big plays you have. I'd rather be out there making big plays and scoring some touchdowns rather than starting just to be starting."
In the preseason, Jones rushed for 100 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 40 yards.
"He shows some stuff that really gets you excited," Tobin said. "He's got excellent balance. He's got the ability to make you miss in the hole and he's got good hands. I think he's going to be a really good back. But again he's going to be a rookie playing in his first ballgame. We've got Michael sitting there, who we wouldn't hesitate to put in at any time."
Coach Bill Cowher issued a three-paragraph statement saying Kent Graham, who previously lost starting jobs with Arizona and the New York Giants, will start Sunday's season opener against the Baltimore Ravens instead of Kordell Stewart.
Graham began the 1997 season as the starting quarterback with the Cardinals and with the Giants last year, but couldn't keep his job either time.
Only 18 months after signing a $27 million contract extension, Stewart faces an uncertain future with a team that couldn't wait any longer for him to play his way out of a two-year slump.
Graham was 31-of-57 for 334 yards, three touchdowns and one interception during the preseason. Stewart was 19-of-55 for 238 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Seattle, continuing its youth movement under coach Mike Holmgren, released veteran quarterback Glenn Foley,
Foley, the team's backup last season, started one game in 1999 when Jon Kitna was injured. He lost his backup job to second-year player Brock Huard, who performed better during the preseason.
The more-than-$500,000 salary that Foley was to receive this season played into the decision, said Holmgren, who is also general manager.
Terrell Buckley, engaged in a summer-long battle with Jimmy Spencer at right cornerback, will start the season opener against St. Louis.
Buckley, who played three seasons in Green Bay and five in Miami before signing a free-agent deal with Denver just before camp opened, shared playing time with Spencer during the preseason.
Spencer started the first two preseason games and Buckley the final two, and coach Mike Shanahan said they emerged from the competition nearly even.
"I'm excited about it," Buckley said. "Jimmy and I talked. Obviously, both of us feel like we're starters and want to play. We did everything right, and it's unfortunate that one of us couldn't start. He's going to play, though. If I don't get it done, he'll go in.
"We talked about this before the first day of camp. We knew something had to happen. Being friends and being roommates makes it a lot easier."
Running back KaRon Coleman and safety Darius Clark were signed to the practice squad.
Safety Eric Vance signed a two-year contract, while safety Lemar Marshall was waived.
Vance spent most of the past two seasons with the Bucs before signing as a free agent with San Diego in the offseason. The Chargers released him Sunday.
In two years with Tampa Bay, Vance played in nine games with one start. Last season, he played in six games prior to being released Dec. 7.
The Bucs claimed Marshall off waivers on Aug. 22, a day after he was released by the Philadelphia Eagles. He had five tackles and one special teams stop in Tampa Bay's final preseason game.
The trade Green Bay made with Oakland on Sunday for defensive tackle Chuck Osborne was voided Monday when Osborne failed his physical. The Packers traded a fifth-round pick in 2002 for Osborne.
Green Bay claimed tight end Chris Eitzmann off waivers from New England and linebacker Chris Gizzi off waivers from Denver, and cut third-year linebacker Jude Waddy.
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