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Differing opinions

Skins cut Centers after clashes over offseason workouts

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Posted: Friday April 20, 2001 9:23 PM

  Larry Centers Larry Centers is the NFL's career leader in receptions by a running back. Elsa Hasch/Allsport

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- Larry Centers, the NFL's career leader in receptions by a running back, was cut Friday by the Washington Redskins after a disagreement with new head coach Marty Schottenheimer over offseason workouts.

The Redskins also signed free agent Donovan Greer, a nickel back with the Buffalo Bills the past three seasons.

Cutting Centers saves the Redskins, who were barely under the NFL's salary cap, about $1.6 million next season. Centers signed a four-year deal last year.

However, Schottenheimer said releasing Centers was not strictly a cap move. The coach said he and Centers differed over how the fullback would rehabilitate a minor knee injury, and that led to differences over off-season work in general.

"Larry and I have had several conversations," Schottenheimer said. "And I had the feeling that his approach to rehab was different from our own, so it was time to move on. It really boiled down to philosophical differences. It really wasn't even about the knee."

Neither Centers nor his agent returned calls seeking comment.

Centers has 685 catches for 5,683 yards. He broke Keith Byars' running back record of 611 receptions early last season.

Centers played nine seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before he was cut -- also in a salary cap move -- in the summer of 1999. The Redskins signed him immediately, and he became a leader on a team that made the playoffs that season.

In 2000, Centers broke the Redskins' single-season record for receptions by a running back with 81 for 600 yards. He also rushed 19 times for 103 yards.

In 1995, Centers caught 101 passes for the Cardinals, the NFL season record for running backs.

Greer was an undrafted free agent who spent parts of his rookie year with Atlanta and New Orleans in 1997. He then went to Buffalo, where he played 40 games over three seasons, with two starts and one interception.

Greer signed a three-year deal with a $400,000 signing bonus.

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