Veteran offensive lineman Robert Gallery, whom the New England Patriots had signed this offseason to provide insurance with starting left guard Logan Mankins recovering from offseason ACL surgery, announced his retirement Friday.
The 32-year-old Gallery had struggled in training camp. On Friday, he was flicked to the side by defensive lineman Vince Wilfork in one-on-one rush drills, landing on his rear. That highlighted some of his struggles.
Gallery played the first seven seasons of his career in Oakland, after the Raiders selected him No. 2 overall in the 2004 draft out of Iowa. He spent an ineffectual 2011 in Seattle, which released him after the season despite Gallery having two additional years remaining on his contract.
The Patriots thought they might be able to squeeze another season out of Gallery, signing him to a one-year contract with a base salary of $1 million.
After Gallery’s retirement and the placement of fullback Tony Fiammetta on the exempt/left squad list, the Patriots moved quickly to fill the two spots on their 90-man roster by signing defensive back Derrick Martin and running back Kareem Huggins.
Martin, 27, is a veteran of six NFL seasons with Baltimore, Green Bay and the New York Giants. Huggins, 26, played in six games over two seasons for the Buccaneers and carried the ball four times for 11 yards.
GOODELL ON CLEVELAND
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he hopes to have the sale of the Cleveland Browns to prospective owner Jimmy Haslam III finalized in “a matter of weeks.”
“We’ve been working on it,” he said. “That part of the process is important and we take great steps to ensure that it obviously meets all of the requirements of the NFL that we have the right type of structure in place with respect to financing.”
Haslam’s purchase of the team will become official once the NFL’s finance committee recommends it and 75 percent of the league’s owners vote for approval. The owners are scheduled to meet Oct. 16-17 in Chicago.
GOCONG LIKELY OUT
When linebacker Chris Gocong was writhing in agony on the practice field, the Cleveland Browns were concerned.
Hours later, the Browns found out it was worse than they thought. Gocong is likely out for the season after injuring his right Achilles tendon.
A Browns spokesman said Gocong could have the surgery as soon as Monday and that surgeons will determine the severity of the injury at that time.
Cleveland already was faced with not having linebacker Scott Fujita for the first three games because of his league suspension for being part of the bounty scandal in New Orleans before joining the Browns two years ago. Now they will open the year without at least three starters on defense.
Signed to a three-year contract extension in September, the 28-year-old Gocong was a steadying influence on a defense needing consistency.
X-rays on New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes’ ribs were negative for fractures, easing concerns that Holmes might be sidelined a while. That quelled initial fears after coach Rex Ryan said that Holmes “might” have broken a rib. Titans center Eugene Amano will miss the 2012 season with a torn triceps muscle in his right arm. Amano started at center the past two seasons for Tennessee and was injured in practice when hit by a helmet while blocking on a pass attempt. Dolphins punter Brandon Fields has agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13 million, including $3.3 million guaranteed. He set a single-season franchise record last year with an average of 48.8 yards per punt. Cowboys rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne could miss at least a week with a sprained left knee. The Broncos signed free-agent safety Jim Leonhard to reinforce their secondary after second-year starter Quinton Carter injured his right knee and hamstring in a nasty fall during practice.