Sports Outside the Beltway

Raiders Cut QB Jeff George

Jeff George actually looked pretty good in has NFL comeback despite five years of rust. Still, the Oakland Raiders decided to go with youth. At least for now.

Jeff George’s attempted comeback into the NFL is over for now. George, who has not played in an NFL game since 2001, was among 20 players who were released or placed on injured reserve by the Oakland Raiders on Saturday. The No. 1 overall pick by Indianapolis in 1990, George signed with the Raiders last week and was with the team in Seattle for Oakland’s final preseason game but did not play. “Jeff knew that we wanted to bring him in and take a look at him for a week,” Raiders coach Art Shell said. “As I said when we first brought Jeff in here, it was a precaution.”

George hasn’t played since 2001, when he was cut after two games with the Redskins. He was signed by Seattle as insurance midway through the 2002 season, but didn’t play. Chicago signed him late in the 2004 season, but he never played for the Bears, either.

But the release of George might not necessarily end his comeback attempt and, in fact, may have simply been a procedural move by the Raiders, aimed at not having to guarantee his full salary. Because George is a “vested” veteran, with more than four seasons in the league, the collective bargaining agreement stipulates that his entire base salary is guaranteed if he is on the opening day roster. By cutting him now, the Raiders avoid that guarantee of $810,000 and can re-sign George after the opening game. If that happened, and he were released for a second time, Oakland would owe George just the prorated share of his base salary, not the full $810,000.

Interesting. I suspect George will be good enough to be someone’s backup when he’s 50 if he so desires. He’s always had great physical ability; his problems were always north of the shoulder pads.

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