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American Football: Jags release Brackens-again

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posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 09:35 AM
The Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday released defensive end Tony Brackens, the team's all-time sack leader.

Brackens, a former second-round draft pick and eight-year team vetens but had been signed again to a one-year contract in June. He was coming back from surgery on his right knee, a year after having surgery on his left knee.

Brackens, 29, led the team last year with six sacks and brought his career total to 55 over eight seasons. He's one of only three players to have played that many years with the Jacksonville franchise.

Jaguars officials didn't give a reason in announcing the defensive end's release, but he has been slowed by the knee injuries.

"One of the most painful and difficult duties as a coach is making the decision to release a guy like Tony," coach Jack Del Rio said in a statement. "We met this morning and talked, and Tony was as classy and professional as ever. I wished him well and wanted him to know that I appreciate all that he has done for this team."

Bracken's agent, Jim Steiner, did not return a phone message left at his office Sunday.

Brackens holds 12 team records and was a Pro Bowl starter in 1999.

Before the 2003 season, Brackens had "microfracture" surgery on his left knee, a process in which doctors drill small holes in the knee to encourage the formation of scar tissue, which acts similarly to cartilage that has been damaged or removed.

It is almost universally considered a last resort for players, and some were surprised that he was able to come back and play in 2003.

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