The Jacksonville Jaguars released oft-injured quarterback Byron Leftwich on Saturday, one day after announcing they planned to part ways with the former first-round draft pick.
The Jaguars had hoped to trade Leftwich, but also said they were prepared to release him in hopes of avoiding any locker room problems stemming from his demotion.
The team also released 18 others, including receiver Charles Sharon, defensive tackle Seth Payne and cornerbacks Bruce Thornton and Dee Webb.
The Jags also traded running back Alvin Pearman to Seattle for an undisclosed draft pick and placed defensive end James Wyche (groin) and receiver Mike Walker (knee) on injured reserve.
Walker, a third-round draft pick from Central Florida, injured his knee nearly two years ago and looked sharp in training camp. Coach Jack Del Rio even said recently that there was no chance Walker would go on IR.
Of course, Del Rio also said all year that Leftwich was his unquestioned starter. But David Garrard outperformed Leftwich in training camp and the preseason, prompting Del Rio to make the stunning change nine days before the season opener.
Sharon worked with the first-team offense throughout the summer and was a starter when training camp began - way ahead of Reggie Williams. But no one told Sharon that Williams was demoted solely in hopes of motivating the former first-round pick.
Sharon caught 10 passes for 138 yards in the preseason, but ended up vying with seventh-round pick John Broussard for the final receiver spot.
Safety Josh Gattis (fifth round) was the only draft pick waived. First-year players cut included defensive tackle Joe Anoai, linebacker Kevis Coley, defensive lineman Walter Curry, offensive tackle Ryan Gibbons, defensive end Tyler King, defensive back Jamar Landrom, linebacker Roy Manning, guard Pete McMahon, cornerback Rashod Moulton and tight end Isaac Smolko.
The Jaguars hope to re-sign some of the cut players Sunday, when eight can be added to the practice squad.
Leftwich won't be one of them.
He was told he would be leaving Jacksonville on Friday after the Jags decided to go with Garrard.
Leftwich hasn't played a full season since being the seventh overall selection in the 2003 draft, and missed 15 games the last two years.
His release ends a turbulent relationship with Del Rio. Leftwich openly questioned Del Rio's decisions, and Del Rio felt the quarterback lied to him several times about his health.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press