David Tyree has gone from Super Bowl hero to unemployed.
Tyree was released by the New York Giants on Saturday in the final cutdown that also featured a late trade, with backup tight end Michael Matthews, another Super Bowl veteran, being shipped to the New England Patriots for a conditional draft pick.
Tyree missed last season after injuring his hamstring while coming back from offseason knee surgery. The 29-year-old wide receiver battled groin, hamstring and knee injuries in training camp this year and played only two exhibitions, missing the last two.
“It’s obviously a time of mixed feelings,” Tyree said Saturday. “This is part of the journey. It’s not like it’s a great day. But at the same time I’m filled with expectations about what’s next on this track, and I’m excited, as well.”
Tyree made one of the most remarkable catches in Super Bowl history some 19 months ago when the Giants defeated the previously unbeaten New England Patriots.
With the Giants trailing 14-10 late in the fourth quarter and faced with a third-and-5, Tyree hauled in a 32-yard pass from Eli Manning, pinning the ball against his helmet as defender Rodney Harrison yanked him to the ground.
The play set up Manning’s winning touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress.
Meanwhile, the winner between the ex-Heisman Trophy contenders battling for the Washington Redskins third-string quarterback job? Try “none of the above.”
The Redskins placed Colt Brennan on injured reserve with hip and hamstring injuries, and his competition for the job, Chase Daniel, was one of the final cuts.
Veteran running back Dominic Rhodes was released by the Buffalo Bills, who continued shaking up their offense a day after firing coordinator Turk Schonert.
Rex Grossman’s performance in Houston’s final exhibition not only earned him a spot on the roster, it gave him a chance to be the Texans’ backup quarterback.
Grossman missed most of the preseason with a hamstring injury. He returned Friday night to throw two touchdown passes in Houston’s 27-20 win over Tampa Bay and survive the last cuts.
In contrast, John David Booty made a poor throw at the worst possible time.
A day after having an interception returned for a touchdown in the preseason finale against Dallas, Booty was among the final cuts for the Minnesota Vikings, leaving the team with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels behind starter Brett Favre.
Booty was in his second season out of USC. He does have practice squad eligibility, so the Vikings could bring him back if another team does not sign him.
Booty, a fifth-round pick in 2008, likely sealed his fate Friday night. He threw an interception that was returned for a score, infuriating coach Brad Childress.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut kicker Matt Bryant, whose 83.1 percent field goal rate in four seasons was the best in franchise history. He injured his right hamstring in practice last month and did not kick in the preseason.
Quarterback Jeff Garcia, who was signed by Oakland in the offseason to push JaMarcus Russell and serve as a mentor to the former No. 1 overall draft pick, was among 22 players let go by the Raiders.