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Steelers make qualifying offers to five players, release Simmons, Humpal

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers announced Thursday that offensive tackle Willie Colon, cornerback Anthony Madison and tight end Sean McHugh -- all restricted free agents -- have received qualifying offers from the team.

The moves secure the Steelers' right to match any contract offer made by another team. The terms of the tenders weren't disclosed.

Restricted free agents have three accrued seasons in the NFL and have completed the terms of their contracts. The Steelers would have the right of first refusal and/or the rights to draft-choice compensation if any of their restricted free agents who received a tender sign with another team.

Two exclusive-rights free agents, fullback Carey Davis and offensive tackle Jeremy Parquet, also received offers from the Steelers. Exclusive-rights free agents may not negotiate with other teams once they receive a qualifying offer. Players with fewer than three accrued NFL seasons whose contracts have expired become exclusive-rights free agents.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents who don't receive qualifying offers from their team become free agents and are free to negotiate with any NFL club.

Also on Thursday, the Steelers terminated the contracts of veteran offensive guard Kendall Simmons and first-year linebacker Mike Humpal.

Simmons played seven seasons with the Steelers after being taken in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft. Simmons had made 30 straight starts at right guard before his 2008 season came to an end after being placed on injured reserve with an Achilles injury.

Humpal was injured during his rookie training camp in 2008 and was placed on injured reserve with a neck ailment. Humpal was the first of two sixth-round picks by the Steelers in the 2008 NFL Draft.

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