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Browns cut four players, free up more than $13 million on salary cap

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BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns terminated the contracts of cornerback T.J. Carrie, tight end Demetrius Harris, guard Eric Kush and linebacker Adarius Taylor on Monday.

Carrie started 14 games for the Browns over the last two years. Harris started six games in 2019, and finished with three touchdown grabs. Kush started seven games at right guard before losing his starting job midway through last season, while Taylor recorded eight special teams tackles.

All four players were signed by former Browns general manager John Dorsey, who was fired after a 6-10 season.

Their releases creates more than $13 million in additional cap space for Cleveland in 2020.

Carrie had two years left on a four-year, $31 million contract he signed with the Browns in 2018. None of the money left on his contract was guaranteed. Harris, Kush and Taylor all signed with the Browns in free agency last year.

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Patriots bring back Brian Hoyer, add QB to mix

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer, a source confirms.

The Boston Globe first reported the agreement.

A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Hoyer’s contract with the Patriots is for $1.05 million. He is making $2 million from the Indianapolis Colts, who released him on Saturday, so with offset language, Hoyer will make $2 million in guarantees total this season between the two teams.

Hoyer returns for his third stint with the Patriots, joining 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham and five-year veteran Cody Kessler as the three quarterbacks on the roster.

Stidham beat out Hoyer for the No. 2 job last preseason, which led the Patriots to release Hoyer with hopes of possibly bringing him back later in the season. But the Colts, who were scrambling following Andrew Luck’s retirement, quickly scooped Hoyer up by inking him to a three-year contract to back up Jacoby Brissett.

Hoyer, 34, becomes the most experienced quarterback on the Patriots’ roster (38 career starts), and should be a valuable sounding board for Stidham as the Patriots assess if the youngster can fill the void created by Tom Brady signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Hoyer appeared in four games last season and made one start when Brissett suffered a knee injury. He completed just 53.8% of his pass attempts last season, throwing for 372 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

Hoyer started his career with the Patriots and also had stints with the Cardinals, Browns, Texans, Bears and 49ers before returning to New England last season. He has 38 starts in 69 NFL games. He started 13 games for the Browns in 2014. He has thrown for 10,274 yards with 52 touchdowns and 34 interceptions in his career.

In addition to Hoyer, the Patriots also reached agreement with free-agent linebacker Brandon Copeland.

The 6-foot-3, 268-pound Copeland has played in 60 career regular-season games with the Detroit Lions (2015-2016) and New York Jets (2018-2019). He started 14 games for the Jets over the past two seasons, with his most notable success coming in 2018 as a situational pass-rusher (5 sacks). He has totaled 107 career tackles, while also factoring prominently on special-teams units.

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CB Pierre Desir joins Jets a day after Colts cut him

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Thin at cornerback after releasing their 2019 starters, the New York Jets agreed to terms Sunday with former Indianapolis Colts cornerback Pierre Desir, a source confirmed.

Desir, 29, released Saturday by the Colts, will sign a one-year contract, another source said.

The Jets were in the market for a corner after parting ways with Darryl Roberts and Trumaine Johnson in recent days. They re-signed nickel back Brian Poole, but still needed help on the outside.

They turned to Desir after he was unexpectedly released. A year ago, he signed a three-year, $22.9 million extension with the Colts, but his play slipped last season despite a career-high three interceptions.

Desir played in 12 games, starting 11, and allowed five touchdown passes and a 95.6 passer rating, according to Pro Football Focus.

He broke into the league as a fourth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2014. He played briefly for the San Diego Chargers before landing with the Colts in 2017.

Desir has five career interceptions, including for returned for a touchdowns.

The Jets have been active in the second wave of free agency. On Saturday, they finalized deals with three players, bringing their total to six outside free agents.

Only two have come on defense, Desir and former Los Angeles Rams safety Marqui Christian.

The news of Desir’s agreement was first reported by The Athletic.

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Darius Slay to wear No. 24 with Eagles to honor Kobe Bryant

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Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay said Saturday that he plans to switch to No. 24 with his new team to honor the late Kobe Bryant.

Slay, who was traded last week by the Lions to the Eagles, wore No. 23 the past six seasons in Detroit.

“My number I’m rocking? I’m going with that two four, man. I’m rockin’ with two four this year,” Slay said Saturday night in an Instagram Live video. “Kobe mode. Black mamba, baby. Rest in peace to the GOAT, man. Rest in peace to one of my favorite players. … I think I’m gonna look good in 24.”

Running back Jordan Howard wore No. 24 last season for the Eagles but signed last week with the Miami Dolphins, so the number is available for Slay.

Bryant, who went to high school in Philadelphia, was a noted Eagles fan. The Lakers great died along with his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles in January.

Slay expressed his excitement last week on Twitter that he was going to get to play for his favorite athlete’s favorite team.

The Eagles traded two draft picks to land Slay, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who will be the team’s No. 1 cornerback. Philadelphia also signed him to a three-year, $50 million extension, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, making Slay the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback, with an average annual salary of $16.67 million.



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