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Oilers Waive RB Gary Brown

April 20, 1996

HOUSTON (AP) _ The Houston Oilers on Friday waived running back Gary Brown, who within two seasons rose from backup to star before sliding down the depth chart after signing a big contract.

Brown had 293 yards and no touchdowns on 86 carries last year as rookie Rodney Thomas became the Oilers’ top ball carrier. In five seasons, Brown ran for 2,115 yards and 12 touchdowns on 477 carries.

By cutting Brown and the final year of his $5.25 million contract, Houston freed up money to help sign draft picks. The Oilers have the No. 9 choice in Saturday’s draft and have been rumored to be interested in Eddie George, the Heisman Trophy-winning running back from Ohio State.

Brown became a surprise star in 1993, his third season, when he took over for injured starter Lorenzo White. He gained 1,002 yards and had five 100-yard games while starting the final eight games.

In July 1994, he signed a three-year, big-money deal but couldn’t sustain his success. He hurt his ankle in an exhibition game and never recovered, spending two games on the inactive list and sitting out two more. White regained his job and outrushed Brown 757-648.

White signed with Cleveland before last season, but Brown still wasn’t the top rusher. He was hurt again and outplayed by Thomas.

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