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Oilers release Bruce Davis, sign draft pick Alm

SAN MARCOS, Texas -- The Houston Oilers Friday released 11-year veteran tackle Bruce Davis and agreed to contract terms with defensive tackle Jeff Alm, a second-round draft pick from Notre Dame.

Davis had started 43 consecutive games for the Oilers since they obtained him from the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987.

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He was holding out for a new contract after making $435,000 last season.

After undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both knees in the offseason, Davis, 34, had dropped to third team on the depth chart at left tackle behind Don Maggs and David Williams.

An 11th-round draft pick of the Raiders in 1979 after playing college ball at UCLA, Davis moved into a starting role in 1982. He replaced the retiring Art Shell, now the Raiders head coach, and started in two Super Bowls.

Davis was one of six Oilers veterans holding out of training camp at Southwest Texas State University. There was no change reported in negotiations with the other five: Cody Carlson, Patrick Allen, John Grimsley, Leonard Harris and Sean Jones.

Alm, a 6-foot-6, 273-pounder, was the Oilers' last draft pick to sign. After agreeing to a multi-year contract, Alm was expected to report to camp Saturday.

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Houston also signed free-agent defensive linemen Byron Darby and Scott Camper. Darby has played for Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Detroit over seven NFL seasons.

Alm's arrival will offset the announced retirement of free-agent defensive end Reggie Camp. A sixth-year pro, Camp played for the Cleveland Browns before being released in 1988.

The Oilers and Dallas Cowboys will conduct the first of two scrimmages Saturday night in San Antonio.

Oilers Coach Jack Pardee said Houston's veterans, who began practicing Wednesday, would see limited action in the scrimmage. He said most of the attention will be devoted to the rookies and free agents.

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