The Cincinnati Bengals released wide receiver Antonio Bryant before he could make an appearance, opting to put their faith in the experienced hands of Terrell Owens. Cincinnati had agreed a four-year deal worth $28 million (Dh102m) with Bryant in March, according to local media, but a knee injury kept him out of the team's pre-season games and the Bengals confirmed his release on their website yesterday. Bryant was initially chosen by the team over Owens after both players worked out in March, however, Bryant's inability to recover from injury, and the signing of Owens in July, led to the team going back on their original decision.
A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Owens, 36, made 55 catches for the Buffalo Bills last season. Cincinnati will open their regular season on Sept. 12 at the New England Patriots. Meanwhile, the New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace will miss the opening game of the season as he recovers from surgery on his right foot, his team said yesterday. Pace was injured in a pre-season game against the Washington Redskins on Friday and will undergo surgery today. "I'll probably definitely miss the first game, it's safe to say that," Pace told the Jets website. "Beyond that I don't really have an idea. Hopefully it'll still be a somewhat speedy recovery." The injury is yet another setback for the Jets' defence, already missing All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is embroiled in a contract dispute. Pace has seven years of experience in the NFL and has played a good contributing role to the Jets for the last two years. The Jets open the season at home to the Baltimore Ravens on September 13.