Monday, May 10, 2004 ESPN.com news services Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings released a pair of veterans -- starting linebacker Henri Crockett and fullback Charles Stackhouse -- having determined in a weekend minicamp that both players were extraneous. Minnesota is counting on younger linebackers to step into the lineup of a defense that ranked No. 23 statistically in the NFL in 2003. Thus, Crockett, who started in 15 games last season, was deemed expendable. The release of the seven-year veteran had been expected and the Vikings will recoup $850,000 in salary cap room. Crockett, 29, had 54 tackles in 2003, starting mostly at the strongside linebacker spot. For his career, he has 310 tackles, 7½ sacks and one interception in 103 appearances and 88 starts. The former Florida State standout played the first five seasons of his career with the Atlanta Falcons before signing with Minnesota as a free agent in 2002. Stackhouse, 24, is a two-year veteran, having begun his career with the New York Giants before moving to the Vikings last season. He has played in 30 games and started in five of them, with just one carry for no yards and 19 receptions for 118 yards. More a traditional, lead-blocking fullback, Stackhouse was moved to H-back for the minicamp, but was victimized by the numbers game. The Vikings entered the camp with nine tight ends and signed one more, undrafted free agent T.J. Cottrell (son of defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell), over the weekend. -- Len Pasquarelli, senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Cincinnati Bengals: A Bengals defense that ranked 24th against the pass in 2003 certainly won't lack for secondary coaches this year. The Bengals have hired former Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, and he will aid in development of "nickel" packages and help break down film of opponents. The Bengals already had two assistants in the secondary, Kevin Coyle and Lou Cioffi, and coordinator Leslie Frazier is a former NFL cornerback. The highly-regarded Bresnahan, 43, was dismissed by the Raiders when the team fired head coach Bill Callahan after the '03 campaign. A 10-year league veteran, Bresnahan has been with the Cleveland Browns (1994-95), Indianapolis Colts (1996-97) and the Raiders (1998-2003). He was the coordinator in Oakland during the 2000-2003 seasons. Bresnahan signed a one-year contract. -- Len Pasquarelli, senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Denver Broncos: The Broncos offensive tackle corps will have a new look in 2004, as the club shuffles bodies to compensate for the departure of former starter Ephraim Salaam on the left side. It was anticipated that veteran Matt Lepsis would move from the right to the left side, to replace Salaam, and that 2003 first-rounder George Foster would slide into the right tackle spot. But one move came as a surprise. After 10 seasons as a tight end, Dwayne Carswell is moving to tackle. The move was first broached to Carswell following the draft and implemented at a weekend minicamp. "He's always done a great job blocking for us at the tight end position," said coach Mike Shanahan. "We felt like we needed some depth at tackle and he's a really good athlete." Carswell, 32, weighed in over the weekend at 292 pounds, about 25 pounds more than his playing weight at tight end. In 10 seasons at tight end, he had 168 catches for 1,506 yards and 12 touchdowns, playing in 141 games with 66 starts. Denver still has six other tight ends on its roster. -- Len Pasquarelli, senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. San Francisco 49ers: General manager Terry Donahue confirmed over the weekend that the 49ers will release starting free safety Zack Bronson after June 1, when the team can soften the impact against its 2004 salary cap. A seven-year veteran who started in 12 games in 2003, Bronson was excused from the team's weekend minicamp. By releasing Bronson after June 1, the 49ers will recoup $1.75 million in salary cap room. The 49ers are only $1.325 million under the cap and, with the groin injury suffered by Tim Rattay, now will need room to sign a veteran quarterback. Bronson, 30, had 43 tackles, one interception and two passes defensed in 2003. For his career, he has 242 tackles, 19 interceptions and 30 passes defensed. Four-year veteran Ronnie Heard, primarily a special teams player in the past, worked with the first unit over the weekend and will get first shot at the starting free safety job. -- Len Pasquarelli, senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. New York Jets: The Jets re-signed starting right tackle Kareem McKenzie on Monday. McKenzie started every regular-season game from 2002-03. He has been a model of consistency as a starter, drawing just two penalties over the last two seasons (both in 2003). He joined the Jets as a third-round pick out of Penn State in 2001. The Jets also waived running back Chad Brinker.