The Garrison Hearst see-saw went down again on Tuesday as the former University of Georgia star from Lincolnton was waived by the NFL's Arizona Cardinals.
Hearst, the Cardinals' firstround draft pick in 1993, was sent home Friday from an exhibition game at San Diego and told he would be waived Monday unless rookie Leeland McElroy was injured. On Monday, first-year coach Vince Tobin said Hearst was not waived.
Two former North Augusta players were also in NFL news on Tuesday, when teams had to be down to 60 players. Punter Chris MacInnis was waived by the Baltimore Ravens, and wide receiver Brannon Kennedy was put on injured reserve by the Washington Redskins.
Tobin said he wasn't going to make the Hearst move until Tuesday's deadline.
"It's unfortunate that you have to do it," Tobin told the Arizona Republic. "It's hard on coaches and hard on players. People sometimes look at something like this when a player is released and assume it's because he wasn't very good. That's the implication, but it's certainly not the case with Garrison."
Tobin unloaded defensive end Clyde Simmons on Monday. Coupled with Hearst's waiver and the new contracts for defensive end Simeon Rice, a first-round pick from Illinois, and Eric Swann, a Pro Bowl tackle, the moves left Arizona about $1.5 million which Tobin could use to acquire another running back.
Pat Dye Jr., Hearst's agent, said Hearst opted to test his marketability on the waiver wire rather than accept about one-third of the $1.5 million figure, Dye said.
"The Cardinals have expressed an interest in resigning him, and several other teams are interested in him," he said. "Their levels of interest vary, but suffice it to say these teams are intrigued by a player who rushed for over 1,000 yards in his third NFL season. They know Garrison still has a lot of football left in him."
Dye said he hopes Hearst will be settling in with a team by the end of the week.
Hearst, who was drafted No. 3 overall in 1993, was unavailable for comment. A message left at his parents' home in Lincolnton was not returned.
Hearst's NFL career has been difficult from the start. He held out through training camp as a rookie, then tore a knee ligament in the sixth game. He didn't make it back until late in 1994, and last season he ran for 1,070 yards with 12 fumbles and only one touchdown, a first for a 1,000-yard rusher.
MacInnis was back home in North Augusta on Tuesday and hopes to catch on with another NFL team.
"I was in a situation in Baltimore where they paid a lot of money for Greg Montgomery," MacInnis said. "Politics got involved. I kind of knew that going in. Hopefully, as a result I'll get some looks and springboard out of it."
MacInnis, who led the nation in punting in 1993 at Air Force, was also kicking off for the Ravens. MacInnis said one setback was that NFL punters are also asked to hold on place-kicks, which he did not do at Air Force since he was the place-kicker for the Falcons.
Kennedy signed as a free agent with the Redskins in May. The 6-2, 200-pounder played at the University of Hawaii the past two seasons.
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