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Cards cut two LBs, re-sign Bridges, Tate

TEMPE, Ariz. (April 11, 2005) -- The Arizona Cardinals released outside linebackers Raynoch Thompson and LeVar Woods, and re-signed offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges and cornerback Robert Tate.

Thompson's release was expected -- in two years, the 6-foot-3, 228-pounder went from being the second-leading tackler in 2002 to earning the disfavor last season of first-year coach Dennis Green.

The unrest began shortly after Thompson, drafted out of Tennessee in the second round in 2000, signed a four-year contract extension after the 2002 season without letting the team know he had tested positive for what became his second strike under the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

When the Cardinals found out, they withheld part of his signing bonus, and Thompson responded by filing a grievance.

Thompson, who had a career-high 139 tackles in 2002, played in only 11 games, starting three, and had 42 tackles and a sack in his final year with Arizona.

Woods, signed in 2001 as a free agent out of Iowa, made two starts and appeared in 12 other games in 2004, with 20 tackles.

Bridges, an exclusive-rights free agent, had a breakthrough season as a second-year player in 2004, starting eight games at right guard after the Cardinals claimed him off waivers from Philadelphia on Sept. 6. Philadelphia drafted Bridges in the sixth round in 2003.

Tate, a seven-year veteran, originally drafted by Minnesota in 1997, played five seasons with the Vikings and was with Baltimore in 2002. Released by the Ravens, he spent 2003 out of football, but returned last year to play for Green, his former coach with the Vikings.

Tate played in 16 games as a reserve defensive back, making five tackles on defense and three on special teams.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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