Originally published October 21, 2011 at 10:04 PM | Page modified October 21, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Ex-Husky Kreutz walks away from Saints, NFL career

Center Olin Kreutz has told the New Orleans Saints that his playing days are over, informing the team that he has lost his passion for football.

quotes I wish Olin the best in whatever he does! Read more
quotes The Saints have a solid backup to Olin in Brian De la Puente! Brian came in when Olin... Read more
quotes One thing for sure: His teammates won't miss him. By my count, he has broken at... Read more


METAIRIE, La. — Center Olin Kreutz has told the New Orleans Saints that his playing days are over, informing the team that he has lost his passion for football.

"He has to feel really good about the passion he has got for the game and the love he has got for the game," his agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Friday. "He felt that slipping away and he's just not someone who can go to work every week and collect a paycheck."

Kreutz, 34, a former Washington Husky, was unavailable for comment.

The passion began to wane a few weeks ago, Bartelstein said, and earlier this week, Kreutz met with Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton.

Though Payton wouldn't discuss what was talked about in that meeting, he said there had been no hint this was the decision Kreutz would eventually make.

"I think it probably manifested itself later as the season went on," Payton said. "And it was something we had a chance to discuss quite a bit this week."

Payton said the Saints won't make a roster move yet, meaning they're still at the 53-man limit.

After starting the first three games with New Orleans, Kreutz missed two with an injury — ending a string of 137 consecutive starts. He was a six-time Pro Bowler and earned All-Pro honors twice, all with the Chicago Bears.

"I think he's a true pro," quarterback Drew Brees said. "He has been a great player for a long time. I learned a lot from him and consider myself fortunate to have played with him."

Report: Harrison has surgery

DETROIT — Lions running back Jerome Harrison had surgery Friday after a brain tumor was discovered during a physical for a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles that was nullified because of the condition, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who said Harrison was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list, visited the player at the hospital.

"He was in very good spirits," Schwartz said, according to the newspaper. "But after that, I don't know if I want to talk too much."

A league source told that Harrison, a former Washinton State standout, complained of headaches to Eagles team physician Gary Dorshimer during the physical. The doctor ordered an MRI that revealed the tumor.

A number of players told the Free Press that Harrison had complained of headaches, to the point of wearing sunglasses on the sideline until he was fitted with a visor for his helmet.

"Everybody thought it was just a regular headache," Lions cornerback Chris Houston said. "It was much more than that."

Sources told ESPN on Thursday the trade and subsequent discovery of the tumor might have saved Harrison's life. Harrison is not expected to play again this season, but his long-term prognosis both for life and his football career appear to be good, sources said.


• The expectation within the Oakland Raiders organization that quarterback Carson Palmer would start Sunday against Kansas City has shifted, reported. Two people familiar with the situation now believe it is unlikely Palmer will start.

The Raiders brought in three free-agent kickers for workouts after Sebastian Janikowski missed his second straight practice with a sore left hamstring.

• Detroit running back Jahvid Best has been ruled out for Sunday's game against Atlanta because of a concussion.

Sam Bradford missed practice again, raising the possibility A.J. Feeley will start at quarterback Sunday when the St. Louis Rams play in Dallas.

• Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield is doubtful for the game Sunday against Green Bay, meaning he will likely miss his fourth straight game with a neck injury.

• Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields didn't practice this week and is doubtful to play because of a concussion.

• Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu, the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, was fined $10,000 for talking on a cellphone while in the bench area.

• Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones is doubtful and cornerback Vontae Davis and safety Chris Clemons are questionable as all deal with hamstring injuries.

• New York Jets center Nick Mangold (ankle) and defensive end Mike DeVito (knee) are questionable for the team's game Sunday against San Diego.

• Houston receiver Andre Johnson will sit out Sunday's game at Tennessee as he recovers from a right-hamstring injury.

• Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame guard Gale Gillingham died at his home in Minnesota while lifting weights, his son said. He was 67.

• A bipartisan group of Minnesota state lawmakers who oppose taxpayer subsidies for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium want to instead simply give the team the Metrodome. A Vikings spokesman said the team isn't interested.

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