Saints stunner: Alex Brown released

Surprising news out of New Orleans. Defensive end Alex Brown, who has worked with the first team throughout the preseason, sent out a tweet saying he’s been released.

Consider that a sign that the Saints are pleased with the progress of first-round draft pick Cameron Jordan. Brown had been starting opposite Will Smith, who could serve a suspension for testing positive for a banned substance in 2008. Even though there is uncertainty about Smith’s situation, the Saints must feel good about Jordan and some of their other defensive ends.

Veteran Jeff Charleston has been a steady backup, and the team likes what Turk McBride has shown in the preseason. The release of Brown could also help Junior Galette’s chances of staying on the roster.

The release of Brown comes with no salary-cap implications. He was scheduled to make $3 million in base salary and had no outstanding roster bonus pro-rations. His release clears up $3 million in cap space.

Teams have to have rosters down to 80 players by the end of the day and there have been some smaller moves around the division.

The Carolina Panthers released second-year quarterback Tony Pike and offensive lineman Duke Robinson. The Panthers also placed guard Geoff Schwartz and tight end Gary Barnidge on the injured reserve list.

The Saints haven’t announced any official moves yet, but receivers John Chiles and Jarred Fayson reportedly have been released.

Earlier in the day, New Orleans safety DeAndre McDaniel tweeted that he had been released.

Stay tuned. We’ll update you with any official announcements from teams as they come. But Saturday is the main day for roster cuts. That’s when teams have to go from 80 players to 53.