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Araguz, 10 Others, Cut by Rams

August 27, 2001

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Veteran punter Leo Araguz was cut Monday by the St. Louis Rams, giving incumbent John Baker the punting job.

Ten others also were released: wide receivers Dane Looker, Tony Miles and Antoine Toliver, tight end Steve Bush, running back Anthony White, guard Omar Smith, defensive end Jermaine Benoit, linebacker Troy Evans, cornerback Buddy Crutchfield and kicker Matt Simonton.

Two players _ linebacker Scott Zimmerman and cornerback Chris Cummings _ have roster exemptions because they played in NFL Europe this spring. The Rams will not have to make any more cuts until Sunday when all teams must reduce their rosters to the regular-season limit of 53 players.

Araguz, who played for the Oakland Raiders last season and then with the New York-New Jersey Hitmen of the now-defunct XFL, was signed as a free agent on June 14. His release ensures the return of Baker, a second-year player acquired from Indianapolis on Aug. 22, 2000, for a seventh-round pick in the 2001 draft.

Baker averaged 40.4 yards per punt last year, 21st in the NFL, and his 34.2-yard net average ranked 22nd. But thanks to the Rams’ prolific offense, he punted only 43 times, the fewest of any regular punter in the league.

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