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Cardinals Cut Leckey

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The Cardinals cut veteran center Nick Leckey (60) on Tuesday.

In a move not unexpected, the Cardinals released center Nick Leckey Tuesday.

The team filled the roster spot by re-signing linebacker Brandon Johnson, who had been cut when the Cards signed new center Chukky Okobi last week.

Leckey's roster spot had grown tenuous as undrafted rookie Lyle Sendlein ascended the depth chart to back  up starter Al Johnson.

Al Johnson sprained a knee in the season opener and the Cards decided to sign Okobi, a free agent who had played for offensive line coach Russ Grimm and coach Ken Whisenhunt in Pittsburgh.

Okobi's arrival made for four centers on the roster, too large a number for the long-term.

Leckey had been battling a knee sprain suffered in the preseason, but he was healthy Sunday against Seattle and was still declared inactive. Okobi, who was dressed but did not play against Seattle, was Sendlein's backup in the game.

Leckey started 11 games in 2006 and nine in 2005 after being drafted in the sixth round out of Kansas State in 2004. He outplayed the fourth-round selection that season, one-time starter Alex Stepanovich.

But the Cardinals, seeking someone with more size than the 6-foot-3, 290-pound Leckey, picked up Al Johnson as a free agent with a four-year, $17.5 million contract. Then Sendlein impressed the coaches throughout the offseason and training camp.

Leckey's salary was also $1.3 million, a hefty amount for a reserve who was going to be a long shot to be active on Sundays.

Al Johnson is expected to miss at least one more game. * * * Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net

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