John Skelton is the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt announced his decision to go with Skelton over Kevin Kolb on Friday.
Skelton and Kolb had waged a protracted competition for the job during offseason workouts and through the exhibition season.
“I’m not going to get into the specifics of everything that was involved but it’s fair to say at this point going forward we feel like the quarterback that gives us the best chance to win right now is John Skelton,” Whisenhunt said.
Skelton is in his third season with Arizona after being drafted in the fifth round out of Fordham.
The Cardinals made the decision despite their significant investment in Kolb, who was acquired just before last season in a trade that sent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick to Philadelphia.
The Cardinals then signed Kolb to a five-year, $63.5 million contract extension with $21 million guaranteed.
BACKUP QBS GET AXE
Backup quarterbacks were prominent among players cut as team’s needed to get down to the 53-man roster limit.
Nine-year veteran and former Seahawks quarterback Seneca Wallace was beaten out by Colt McCoy in Cleveland, Mike Kafka fell to rookie Nick Foles and journeyman Trent Edwards in Philadelphia, Brian Hoyer got axed in New England, and Josh McCown was released by Chicago.
Other veterans released as team’s prepare for the regular season, which begins Wednesday with the Cowboys at the Giants, included former Seahawks receiver Deion Branch and center Dan Koppen in New England; defensive backs Joselio Hanson and O.J. Atogwe in Philadelphia; Pittsburgh offensive lineman Trai Essex and punter Jeremy Kapinos; Buffalo defensive tackle Dwan Edwards; and Giants running back D.J. Ware.
NFL, OFFICIALS TALK
The NFL and its on-field officials’ union began negotiating again, hoping to end the lockout that resulted in replacement officials working the preseason.
The league locked out the NFL Referees Association in early June, then hired replacements, whose work in exhibition games has been heavily criticized.
There was some optimism surrounding the talks, as Michael Arnold, lead negotiator for the officials, said in a statement: “Reports on the economic gap between the NFL and NFLRA are inaccurate.”
A 25-year-old fan died after tumbling about 60 feet from a fifth-floor escalator at Reliant Stadium during a preseason Texans game.
Jonathon Kelly of Houston fell to the ground floor Thursday night, and frantic witnesses called police to report where his body had landed, police spokesman John Cannon said.
The fall appeared to be an accident.
Redskins safety Tanard Jackson was suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. … Former Raiders teammates William Joseph and Michael Bennett and other defendants pleaded guilty to tax-related fraud charges in federal court. … Vikings rookie safety Harrison Smith was fined $21,000 for a hit on Chargers receiver Mike Willie on Aug. 24. … Wishing Ralph Wilson a speedy recovery, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says lease negotiations with the Bills will continue while the team’s owner recuperates in a hospital.