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Apr 16 2014 - Chris Johnson (Jets), RB Chris Johnson signed a two-year deal with the New York Jets.
Johnson, 28, was released by the Tennessee Titans after six 1,000-yard seasons in Nashville.
The Jets envision Johnson as a big-play threat to pair with Chris Ivory when the offense slows to coach Rex Ryan's preferred "ground and pound" approach of relying on power running to move the chains and wear down opponents.
The Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys were reportedly interested in signing Johnson, but he would have come in as part of a timeshare arrangement at running back.
Johnson signed a four-year, $53 million contract with the Titans in 2011 that included a base salary of $8 million for the 2014 season. New coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Ruston Webster made it clear Johnson was not part of the long-term plans. Attempts to trade Johnson for draft pick compensation didn't materialize.
Johnson might not be the same player he was in 2009, when he rushed for more than 2,000 yards, but he carried the ball 279 times in 2013 and could flourish as part of a rotation. With the Jets, Ivory and Bilal Powell figure into the workload.
Johnson is also a solid short-range receiver with an average of 45 catches in Tennessee. That reliable outlet makes him the ideal check-down read for second-year quarterback Geno Smith, competing with Michael Vick to start for the Jets in 2014.
After agreeing to terms, Johnson said, "I have a fresh start. Now I am going to go out there with a chip on my shoulder. I am very excited about that. It's a team on the rise and I want to make them better. ... I still have it."
"I think I'm going to fit in pretty well.
Johnson acknowledged that some have doubts about how much he has left, but he said, "I know a lot of people are doubting me. I want to prove everybody wrong who has doubts in me."
Mar 6 2014 - Champ Bailey (Saints), CB Champ Bailey, a 12-time Pro Bowler who became one of the most accomplished players in Denver Broncos history during his 10 years with the team, was released by the club on Thursday.
Bailey was due a $1 million roster bonus on March 15. Releasing Bailey saves the Broncos $9 million against the 2014 salary cap and puts the veteran on the free-agent market for the first time in his 15-year career.
"This was a difficult decision for our team with everything that Champ Bailey has meant to the Denver Broncos and this community over the last 10 years," Broncos general manager John Elway said in a statement. "Without question, he's among the best cornerbacks to ever play the game and one of the finest players in the history of the Broncos. You couldn't ask for more in a player than what Champ brought to this team. His combination of elite talent, class, leadership and competitiveness made him one of the all-time greats.
"On behalf of everyone with the Broncos, I wish Champ all the best and thank him for everything he did for this franchise. Champ will always be a Bronco. We look forward to his Ring of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame election in the years ahead."
There is no Broncos defensive player in the Hall of Fame, so Bailey would be the first if elected after he retires. Former Denver safety Steve Atwater advanced to the list of 25 semifinalists this year but did make the final 15.
Bailey said recently he wanted to return next season, even if that meant a move to safety. He had said before his first Super Bowl -- a painful 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks -- that retirement might be an option.
Bailey will turn 36 in June and appeared in just five regular-season games last season because of a Lisfranc foot injury. He returned for the playoffs and was beaten soundly in man coverage by Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin on two big plays.
"You don't want to think about that right now," Bailey said before being released. "I think it's obv
Mar 5 2014 - Brandon Browner (Patriots), CB Brandon Browner was officially reinstated by the NFL, but he will be suspended for the first four games of the 2014 regular season and pay an additional four-game fine, the league and NFLPA jointly announced Wednesday.
Browner, who played the last three seasons with the Seahawks after playing four seasons in the Canadian Football League, is now free to sign with any NFL team when free agency starts next week.
The NFL and the players association announced the negotiated compromise, which staved off litigation that would have challenged the league's decision to discipline Browner for missing drug tests while he wasn't playing in the NFL.
The joint statement read:
"The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to conditionally reinstate Brandon Browner from his indefinite suspension under the Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.
"Browner was suspended without pay for the Seattle Seahawks' final five games of the 2013 season, including the playoffs. His contract with the Seahawks expires at the end of the 2013 League Year on March 11. He will be eligible to sign with a club and participate in offseason and preseason activities.
"Should he comply with the terms of the Substance Abuse Policy and Program, he will be fully reinstated after serving a four-game suspension without pay at the start of the 2014 regular season and forfeiting an additional four weeks of pay."
Mar 4 2014 - Brandon Browner (Patriots), CB Brandon Browner wrote on Twitter that his suspension was lifted by the NFL, though the league made no official announcement Tuesday.
Under an indefinite suspension, Browner missed the Seattle Seahawks' final two regular-season games and three playoff games last season. He played in just half of Seattle's regular-season games in 2013, missing time due to a groin injury.
Agent Peter Schaffer said Tuesday, "Obviously cooler heads prevailed. The NFL and Brandon put Brandon's career above all else."
Browner will become an unrestricted free agent on March 11.
Browner tweeted, "I received wonderful news today. The NFL has reinstated me, and I now have the opportunity to prove to the fans and my teammates how important this sport is to me. I realize now more than ever that being part of the NFL is not a right, but a privilege. I am grateful that Commissioner (Roger) Goodell and my agent were able to resolve this issue in a positive, productive manner so I can continue my career, provide for my family, and help my team win a Super Bowl. Thank you to all who have gone out of their way to show their support. I will live up to your expectations of me."
After Browner was suspended last year, he said he was unfairly placed in Stage 3 of the NFL's testing program because of missed tests while he was playing in the Canadian Football League.
The planned lawsuit reportedly would have targeted the NFL's policy banning marijuana, which is legal in Washington and Colorado.
Browner refused a deal with the NFL that could have reduced his suspension to one year in November.
A Pro Bowl cornerback in 2011, Browner drew a check and will receive a Super Bowl ring from the Seahawks, he said in February.
Dec 26 2013 - Aaron Rodgers (Packers), QB Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) has the green light to make his long-awaited return to game action and be in the starting lineup for the crucial final regular-season game at Chicago on Sunday. Head coach Mike McCarthy made the announcement after practice Thursday that Rodgers would lead the offense for the first time since he sustained a broken left collarbone early in the Nov. 4 home loss to the Bears. Rodgers had full-time status in practice Thursday for the first time since he returned to the practice field a month ago.
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