FLOWERY BRANCH -- The Atlanta Falcons have a new backup for Matt Ryan.
Chris Redman, who spent the last four seasons as Atlanta's No. 2 quarterback, was released Tuesday so the team could sign Luke McCown.
McCown spent the past three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, making two starts among his eight appearances. He worked with Dirk Koetter, who is now the Falcons' offensive coordinator, which undoubtedly contributed to the decision to bring in someone new to back up Ryan.
Originally a fourth-round pick by Cleveland in 2004, McCown also played with Tampa Bay. He signed with New Orleans before the start of training camp this year, but was cut by the Saints on Monday.
One day later, he had a new team.
Redman spent five seasons with the Falcons, the last four as Ryan's little-used reserve. Redman struggled in the preseason, completing just 53 percent of his passes with one interception.
The signing of McCown completes a shake-up at the quarterback position behind Ryan. Last weekend, Atlanta (No. 13 in APPro32) released third-stringer John Parker Wilson, deciding rookie free agent Dominique Davis had more upside after a promising preseason.
"Dominique has done a very nice job," coach Mike Smith said. "He's made plays when he's had opportunities. When you tell guys you're going to have an open competition, you want guys to come out and compete and that's what he's done. You want to have that competition when you build your roster because that's how you get your strongest roster."
Redman, it turned out, was competing with someone who wasn't even on the roster. The Falcons were concerned about how much the offense would drop off if they lost Ryan for a significant amount of time, so they decided to go with McCown. Also, the new backup is four years younger than the 35-year-old Redman.Wallace arrives
at Steelers facilityPITTSBURGH -- With less than two weeks before the start of the regular season, Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Wallace reported to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wallace was at the team facility Tuesday morning. A restricted free agent, he had yet to sign his one-year contract tender worth approximately $2.7 million.
He also will undergo routine medical exams, but will not practice with his teammates until next week.
The Steelers (No. 7 in the AP Pro32) conclude their preseason at home against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday and open their regular season Sept. 9 at the Denver Broncos.
Last season, Wallace has 72 receptions for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns. He has 24 receiving touchdowns in his three-season career.
Wallace led the NFL in yards per catch (19.4) as a rookie third-round pick out of Mississippi in 2009. Wallace ranked second in the league (21.0) the following season, when he had a career-high 1,257 yards.Browns' Fujita optimistic he'll play in openerBEREA, Ohio -- Browns linebacker Scott Fujita said he's "optimistic" he'll play in Cleveland's season opener against Philadelphia despite a three-game suspension hanging over him for his part in New Orleans' bounty scandal.
Fujita was one of four players suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the pay-for-hits program that rocked the league. He returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since hurting his left knee in the Aug. 10 exhibition opener against Detroit.
Fujita said he's encouraged by U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan's recent statements regarding suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's request for a temporary restraining order to block the bounty sanctions. The judge has said that if she can clear up concerns about her jurisdiction, she would likely grant Vilma's request because she found the NFL's disciplinary process in the bounty matter unfair and the punishment excessive.