Branch released by Pats; final cutdown roundup

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Wide receiver Deion Branch was among several veteran players released by the Patriots on Friday.

New England has also released Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth as the team gets younger at wide receiver. Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater and Jesse Holley are now the primary backups behind Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd.

Tight end Aaron Hernandez also split out at wide receiver in many formations.

Veteran center Dan Koppen was released, according to the Boston Globe, and the Patriots will apparently enter the season with Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett at quarterback with Brian Hoyer also let go.

Safety James Ihedigbo was also among those released.

-- The Sports Xchange

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Veteran defensive backs Joselio Hanson and O.J. Atogwe were among 19 players released by the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday.

Hanson spent the last six seasons in Philadelphia and was the team's nickel cornerback. Atogwe signed as a free agent in the offseason, but couldn't crack the starting lineup at safety.

Wide receivers Chad Hall, Mardy Gilyard and Marvin McNutt and linebacker Keenan Clayton are other notables on the cut list. The Eagles still must make three more moves to reach the 53-player limit.

Tight ends Brett Brackett and Chase Ford, defensive tackles Ollie Ogbu, Frank Trotter and Landon Cohen, fullback Emil Igwenagu, tackle D.J. Jones, linebackers Adrian Moten and Ryan Rau, defensive end Monte Taylor, safety Phillip Thomas and offensive linemen Steve Vallos and Brandon Washington also were released.

The Ravens waived 2011 third-round pick Jah Reid, who fell behind versatile second-round rookie Kelechi Osemele at left guard and right tackle.

Reid, 6-7, 340, played in all 16 games as a rookie but did not start a game last season or in the 2012 preseason.

The Ravens also released linebacker Josh Byrnes, offensive lineman Justin Boren and offensive lineman Cord Howard.

In addition, linebacker Nigel Carr, defensive lineman Terrence Moore, wide receiver Dorian Graham, defensive tackle Nick Jean-Baptist, linebacker Chavis Williams, safety Omar Brown and defensive tackle Ishmaa'ily Kitchen were to be cut before the 9 p.m. ET deadline to reduce rosters to 53 players.

-- The Sports Xchange

The Dallas Cowboys reportedly released wide receiver Danny Coale, defensive back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, offensive linemen Pat McQuistan and Daniel Loper and quarterback Rudy Carpenter on Friday.

Coale, a fifth-round pick, didn't do enough to set himself apart according to owner Jerry Jones, who made the comments on his weekly radio show on Friday.

Owusu-Ansah was back with the team, which drafted him in fourth round of the 2010 draft, as a safety and return specialist. He spent part of 2011 with the team before he was waived and joined with the Jaguars.

Carpenter, a strong-armed pocket passer from Arizona State, could join the practice squad. He was on the Cowboys' practice squad in 2009 before he was claimed by the Buccaneers.

-- The Sports Xchange

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A person familiar with the decisions says the Cleveland Browns have waived backup quarterback Seneca Wallace and tight end Evan Moore.

Wallace's release means the Browns may go with former starter Colt McCoy as the No. 2 quarterback behind rookie Brandon Weeden.

Wallace and Moore were informed of the moves earlier Friday said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Browns have not yet announced their roster cuts.

The team must get down to the NFL's mandatory 53-man limit by 9 p.m.

Wallace spent two seasons with the Browns, who acquired him in a 2011 trade from Seattle The 31-year-old started seven games for Cleveland.

Moore caught 62 passes in three seasons for Cleveland.

Wallace's release was first reported by

With two quarterbacks having 148 career regular-season starts between them, the Chicago Bears opted to not keep a third quarterback on their roster entering the 2012 season.

Releasing Josh McCown, who played well in Mike Martz's offense late in the 2011 season, was not a surprise. He's likely to be available as a free agent if the Bears develop a pressing need because of injury. He was a street free agent when he joined the Bears in November 2011.

This is the second time coach Lovie Smith has gone into a season without a third quarterback on his 53-man roster, but the last time he didn't have a third quarterback on the roster, former Northwestern quarterback Brett Basanez was on the practice squad.

The Bears signed veteran Jason Campbell, who has 70 career starts, to serve as Jay Cutler's primary backup. Cutler was hurt in the 10th game last season and missed the final six games with a thumb injury. He's made 78 career starts since he was drafted in the first round by the Bears in 2006.

The Bears on Friday waived former Notre Dame running back Armando Allen -- according to reports, which would make Lorenzo Booker the likely third running back on the roster -- and fullback Tyler Clutts.

Allen had 16 carries for 83 yards, including a 49-yard run, and led the Bears with five receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's preseason finale at Cleveland.

Linebacker Jabara Williams, cornerback Isaiah Frey and safety Mark LeGree were also reportedly let go.

-- The Sports Xchange

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released former starting safety Cody Grimm and defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, who had four sacks for the Bears last season and could be a candidate to rejoin the Bears as soon as Friday.

Grimm was a seventh-round pick from Virginia Tech in 2010. He became a starter as a rookie when Tanard Jackson was suspended by the NFL. He played well before a season-ending leg injury. Grimm entered 2011 as a starter but again wound up on injured reserve after an in-game collision with linebacker Geno Hayes.

Okoye, a first-round pick at the age of 19, spent four seasons with the Texans before signing with the Bears last season. He joined the Bengals as a free agent in April.

Other players released by the Buccaneers included linebacker Rennie Curran, safety Keith Tandy, defensive tackle Frank Okam, safety Larry Asante and running back Mossis Madu.

-- The Sports Xchange

The New York Jets are expected to release 17 players on Friday afternoon, including 2010 fifth-round pick Ricky Sapp and quarterback Matt Simms.

The Jets also waived D'Anton Lynn, the son of running backs coach Anthony Lynn, and released defensive lineman Jay Richardson.

Sapp, projected as a difference-making pass rusher out of Clemson, has battled injuries since he was drafted by the Eagles in 2010.

Richardson, 28, is entering his fifth season after missing all of 2011. He started 22 games in his first two seasons with the Raiders and is capable of contributing to a team in need of defensive line depth. He was a fifth-round pick in 2007.

Simms, the son of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms, saw preseason action Thursday but the depth chart in front of him is set with Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy.

A number of the players let go could be called back this weekend as the Jets formulate their eight-player practice squad.

-- The Sports Xchange

The Dolphins released defensive end Jamaal Westerman and sixth-round pick B.J. Cunningham.

Cunningham, a wide receiver from Michigan State, and Westerman were part of the Dolphins' roster cuts ahead of Friday's 9 p.m. ET deadline to reduce rosters to the 53-man regular-season limit.

Westerman joined the Dolphins in March when he wasn't tendered a contract by the New York Jets. The Rutgers product had 19 special-teams tackles for the Jets and 3.5 sacks as a backup outside linebacker.

Teams can also begin forming their practice squad Saturday.

-- The Sports Xchange

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- A person familiar with the move says the Buffalo Bills have released veteran defensive tackle Dwan Edwards.

The person confirmed Edwards' release on Friday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the team hasn't made an announcement. Edwards is an eight-year NFL veteran, and preparing to enter his third season with Buffalo.

Edwards was a two-year starter as a defensive end with the Bills, but was preparing to play a backup role at tackle position after the team switched to a 4-3 lineup this season. He had two years left on the $18 million contract, and scheduled to make a $4.1 million base salary this season.

The Bills had 22 players to cut by the Friday night deadline in order to establish their 53-player roster.