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“It was competitive in that spot this year,” Coughlin said. “Even though we still feel like we have a ways to go to have the front that we say we have, it was a very difficult choice to have to make.”

Whimper, a fourth round pick in 2006, played in all 16 regular season games and four postseason games _ mostly as a backup _ in the 2007 season. He got a lot of playing time in the preseason but it wasn’t enough to get him a job again.

The only other surprise was the release of Brown. The fourth-round draft pick missed his rookie season after tearing his Achilles’ tendon in training camp. He looked good at times in camp this year but did not do a good job on kickoff returns.