Chargers make cuts; Merriman awaits word from doctor

SAN DIEGO -- Five players were released by the San Diego Chargers on Tuesday, including quarterback Casey Bramlet, to get down to the required 75-player limit.

Also cut were wide receiver Billy Pittman, tight end John Tereshinski, wide receiver Marco Thomas and punter-kicker Billy Vinnedge.

Pittman, Tereshinski and Vinnedge joined the Chargers in May as undrafted free agents. Bramlet and Thomas had previously spent time with other clubs.

The moves came a day after the Chargers extended the contracts of linebacker Jyles Tucker and safety Steve Gregory. Tucker, who's played in only six career regular-season games, got a five-year deal while Gregory got a four-year extension.

If star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman opts to have surgery on two torn ligaments in his left knee, Tucker is expected to replace him. Merriman, who has been selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls, has been seeking opinions from doctors outside the organization and is trying to decide whether to have surgery or continue playing.

"I will find out more info when the doc calls me tomorrow," Merriman said in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Tuesday. He was on his way home from visiting a doctor in Miami.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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