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Raiders Release Jeff George

Quarterback Jeff George reportedly has become a free agent after the Oakland Raiders asked him to void his contract in order to get under the salary cap.

According to a broadcast report, the Raiders are $4 million over the salary cap -- the amount of George's 1999 contract. The report said a ruling late Thursday night by the NFL management council on other players' contracts added $2 million against Oakland's 1999 cap.

In order to get under the salary cap by Thursday night's deadline, the the Raiders and George reportedly struck an agreement to have the quarterback's contract voided but that he wants to re-sign with the team.

Earlier reports, however, said that the Raiders are interested in pursuing free agent quarterback Rich Gannon, who played for Kansas City last year.

After a strong season in 1997, George sustained a severe groin injury that limited him to eight appearances last season, including six starts. He completed 93-of-169 passes for 1,186 yards and four touchdowns with five intercerptions.

George signed a five-year, $26 million deal with the Raiders in February 1997 and excelled in his first season in Oakland, throwing for 3,917 yards and 29 touchdowns.

The 31-year-old George was given a new lease on life in Oakland after being suspended by the Atlanta Falcons in 1996 following a heated sideline dispute with coach June Jones.

It was the second city in which George wore out his welcome. He was selected first overall by the Indianapolis Colts in 1990 but never lived up to expectations due to injuries and holdouts.

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