The Raiders plan to release Tim Brown today after 16 prolific seasons.
Salary cap constraints and the reality of reduced playing time for Brown, 38, persuaded owner Al Davis to part ways with the last former member of the Los Angeles Raiders. Brown holds most of the club's receiving records, and his 240 games are the most in franchise history.
Brown is second in NFL history with 14,734 yards receiving and third with 1,070 catches. His 99 touchdown receptions are tied with Don Hutson for fourth, and his 14,734 all-purpose yards are fifth.
"I didn't want to be a distraction," Brown said. "I think those guys have great respect for me, and I think you lose some of that if you accept a role when you're not playing. . . . When you've played at the level I've played at, it's tough to stand on the sidelines waving a towel."
Said Davis: "It's emotionally difficult. It's part of your life. . . . We've had many great players, but there are certain players you fall for. It's tough to lose him."
Brown won the Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame before the Raiders drafted him in 1988. He soon established himself as an elite wide receiver, appearing in nine Pro Bowls and going nine straight seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving.
Brown had 52 catches for 567 yards and two touchdowns last season, but his streak of 175 starts ended in December.
He also appeared to fall out of favor with former coach Bill Callahan. Jerry Porter (Coolidge High) and Jerry Rice, 41, will be the Raiders' top wide receivers this season.
* BROWNS: Jeff Garcia delivered his message to Kellen Winslow Jr. with the pinpoint accuracy of a tight spiral.
As the rookie tight end's contract holdout approached one week, Garcia said it's time Winslow reported for training camp. Garcia said he planned to call Winslow and urge him to join his teammates.
"It's important to get him here," said Garcia, the Browns' new quarterback. "It's one of those things where you need to think about the team. You are going to get your riches no matter what, but you need to think about the team. This is a team game."
But the Browns and agent Kevin Poston are as much as $15 million apart.
In other news, Browns starting cornerback Daylon McCutcheon signed a five-year contract extension.
* BEARS: Once Chicago was eliminated from any shot at the playoffs a year ago, quarterback Rex Grossman went from the sideline to the huddle.
Why not give a promising rookie a chance to play the final three games of a lost season?
Grossman responded, leading the Bears to two victories.
Eight months later, Grossman is charged with a much more difficult and challenging assignment -- to be the starter in a new offense under a new coaching staff.
When Lovie Smith was named head coach in the offseason, he brought the West Coast offense with him.
"I felt a lot of pressure in this offseason, especially not knowing the offense," Grossman said. "As I've become more comfortable in the offense, I'm more comfortable in the position I'm in now."
* CARDINALS: Outside linebacker Karlos Dansby, the first player drafted in the second round, agreed to a four-year contract. The agreement left only defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (Paint Branch), Arizona's third-round pick, absent from training camp, which began Sunday.
* 49ERS: Quarterback Tim Rattay will be held out of practice until next week because an inflamed right forearm. Rattay, designated to replace Garcia as the team's starter, still is recovering from a groin injury in the spring that required surgery.
* BILLS: Tackle Mike Williams, who was fined by the team this week for missing a training camp session, returned to practice.
Coach Mike Mularkey fined Williams for missing practice Tuesday, a day after being excused from the second of two practices on Monday for personal reasons.
Williams said he missed Tuesday's practice due to "personal problems." He didn't provide details, saying only that the situation had been rectified.