Mike Wilcher, an eight-year linebacker with the Los Angeles Rams, was among eight players released yesterday.
Yesterday was the first day this season of wholesale cuts, as NFL teams that opened training camp with 80-man rosters worked to get down to 60 by 4 p.m. today. They must cut to 47 by noon Monday, six days before the start of the regular season.
Wilcher, 31, was a second-round draft choice in 1983. The former North Carolina star became a starter in 1984 and recorded 400 tackles, 38 1/2 sacks, four interceptions and four fumble recoveries as an outside linebacker in the Rams' 3-4 defense.
* EAGLES: Holdout defensive starters Seth Joyner and Clyde Simmons have rejected what the team termed its best contract offers. Sources told the Philadelphia Daily News that the deals would have paid each $3 million over three years, putting the defenders among the highest-paid players in the NFL at their positions. Joyner told the paper he would sit out the season.
Joyner and Simmons are looking for two-year, $2.6 million contracts, sources told the paper.
Also, Philadelphia cut 1987 Heisman Trophy runner-up Don McPherson and former Maryland kicker Dan Plocki.
McPherson, a star quarterback at Syracuse, spent two seasons with the Eagles before being traded last year to Houston, which cut him in preseason. He was signed again this year by the Eagles but lost the fight for the third-string job behind Randall Cunningham and Jim McMahon to rookie Brad Goebel, a free agent from Baylor.
* FALCONS: Atlanta released 10 players but is trying to add one: Denver Broncos holdout running back Bobby Humphrey.
Humphrey, 25, a two-time All-American at Alabama, has sat out training camp in a contract dispute with Denver. Broncos coach Dan Reeves confirmed that negotiations with Atlanta are under way, but a deal has not been reached.
* BROWNS: Wide receiver Reggie Langhorne, the team's leading receiver the past three seasons, ended his 37-day holdout by signing a two-year contract, his agent said.
* CARDINALS: Al Del Greco, the team's place-kicker the past four seasons, was among Phoenix's cuts. DelGreco, an eight-year veteran who also played for Green Bay, lost the job to Greg Davis, a Plan B pickup from Atlanta who had four field goals in the Cardinals' 46-0 win over New England on Saturday night.
Also cut were cornerback Cedric Mack and wide receivers Derek Hill and Don Holmes.
The Cardinals also traded 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman Derek Kennard and an undisclosed draft choice to New Orleans for third-year cornerback Robert Massey.
* OILERS: Kicker Teddy Garcia was among 17 players waived by Houston, giving the job to free agent Ian Howfield.
Garcia, who missed two extra points in the preseason opener, and free agent Raul Allegre were released one day after the Oilers' 30-20 victory over Dallas in which Howfield had kicks of 32, 52 and 17 yards.
* COLTS: Veteran quarterback Rusty Hilger was among four players waived. Hilger, who for a time in 1987 was the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Raiders, also played for Detroit and was signed as a free agent by the Colts last season after Jack Trudeau was hurt. He saw no action.
* PACKERS: Michael Haddix, Green Bay's leading rusher last season, and nose tackle Bob Nelson, who started every game in 1990, were among 13 players waived.
* PATRIOTS: Hart Lee Dykes, New England's No. 1 draft pick in 1989, was expected to miss the 1991 season following surgery to repair a fractured right kneecap, the Patriots said. The wide receiver damaged the kneecap in Saturday night's 46-0 exhibition loss to Phoenix.
* BILLS: Scott Norwood, who missed the field-goal try that would have won last season's Super Bowl, won the battle for his place-kicking spot when Buffalo cut Bjorn Nittmo.
Coach Marv Levy, getting a jump on the deadline, also cut brothers Judd and John Garrett, who played in the WLAF, and quarterback Tom Bill (Penn State).
* For the second time in four years, former Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer has been found innocent of drunken-driving charges in Minnetonka, Minn. Kramer, one of the Vikings' all-time leaders in almost every passing category, was cut after the 1989 season. He played briefly with the Saints last year and has been out of football since they cut him.