The Dallas Cowboys released five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Flozell Adams and safety Ken Hamlin on Friday, two years after both players signed long-term contracts.
Adams, who's coming off his 12th NFL season, was the longest-tenured player on the team, having started 178 of his 182 games for the Cowboys. All of his Pro Bowl selections came between 2003 and 2008.
"Having a left tackle of Flozell Adams' caliber has been a luxury for the Dallas Cowboys for the past 12 years," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement released by the team. "That position (left tackle) is one of the most difficult to play and one of the three or four most important spots on an NFL roster.
"We will always be grateful for his outstanding durability, dependability and contributions to this team," Jones added. "I don't know that you could ask for any more than what Flozell Adams gave to the Dallas Cowboys for 12 seasons."
Adams' agent, Jordan Woy, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he received the news from the Cowboys on Friday morning.
"I asked them at the beginning of March if they were going to do it because we would rather them do it now rather than waiting," Woy said. "They didn't get back to me with an answer. Of course they didn't say don't worry either. So I knew it was a possibility. It's not out of left field. But today was the first time I knew about it."
On Saturday, Woy told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that three teams have already expressed interest in Adams.
Adams and Hamlin both signed six-year deals through 2013 before the 2008 season. Adams could have been a free agent then, but he never hit the market before signing his $43 million contract with the Cowboys, who drafted him in the second round out of Michigan State in 1998.
Adams, who turns 35 in May, was due a $2.5 million roster bonus in June and a $5 million base salary for the 2010 season. Hamlin's base salary this season was scheduled to be just over $5.5 million.
Hamlin was a Pro Bowl pick in 2007, his first season with the Cowboys after he spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks. He had five interceptions in 2007, but his numbers have decreased since he received his $39 million deal. He had one interception in 2008 and none last season, when he missed four games because of a high ankle sprain.
"I would like to say to all of my fans that I appreciate all the love that you have showed me in Dallas," Hamlin said on his Twitter page. "It was a good run. ... Thanks."
Said Jones: "Ken Hamlin was a key contributor on a defensive unit that helped the Cowboys win two division championships in his three seasons with the team. He is a smart player who was valuable to us in playing the role of the quarterback in the secondary. We appreciate what he brought to this team -- and this defense -- as a solid player and a competitor."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.