NFL moves: Browns release RG3, Redskins sign Kirk Cousins and Patriots acquire help

11. Washington Redskins: $2.95 billion

The Cleveland Browns released quarterback Robert Griffin III after one injury-marred season, the team announced Friday.

Griffin signed with the Browns last March hoping to revive his career after being waived by the Washington Redskins. However, the 27-year-old broke his right shoulder in the season opener and missed 11 games.

Griffin returned late in the year and led the Browns to their only win.

Griffin’s departure comes a day after the Browns acquired Brock Osweiler in a trade with Houston. Osweiler, though, is not viewed as Cleveland’s long-term answer at quarterback.


The Browns have the assets to make another deal for a quarterback or take one high in this year’s draft.

Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins’ agent says the Washington Redskins’ quarterback has signed his contract for the exclusive franchise tag.

Mike McCartney tweeted the news Friday morning, 10 days after the team placed the tag on Cousins, guaranteeing him a salary of about $24 million for the 2017 season.


Cousins made nearly $20 million last season under a tag.

The Redskins have until July 15 to try to work out a long-term deal with their starting quarterback. They also could trade Cousins.

Last season, Cousins broke his own franchise record for passing yards, nearly eclipsing 5,000, and set another team mark with more than 400 completions, throwing for 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a completion percentage of 67.

In other moves around the NFL:

--The New England Patriots made a pair of big moves to solidify their receiving group and secondary. The New Orleans Saints agreed to trade receiver Brandin Cooks to the Patriots in exchange for New England’s 2017 first-round selection and a third-round pick. The Saints will also send back a fourth-round pick. In Cooks, 23, the Patriots add another speedy and productive young receiver to a group that already includes Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and veterans Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. New England also signed coveted free agent and Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who joins a secondary that already includes standouts in cornerback Malcolm Butler and safety Devin McCourty. Gilmore is coming off a strong 2016 season, earning the Pro Bowl selection after making 48 tackles and a career-high five interceptions.

--The Green Bay Packers have signed Martellus Bennett, giving quarterback Aaron Rodgers a prolific pass-catching target at tight end. Terms of the deal were not announced by general manager Ted Thompson. The addition of Bennett likely means that last year’s starter, Jared Cook, won’t return to Green Bay. The nine-year veteran Bennett played last season for New England, making 55 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns over 16 games.

--The Dallas Cowboys are adding three more defensive players in free agency — cornerback Nolan Carroll, defensive tackle Stephen Paea and defensive end Damontre Moore — while bringing back receiver Terrance Williams on a $17 million, four-year contract. Carroll, who comes over from NFC East rival Philadelphia, is getting a $10 million, three-year contract. Moore, a 2013 third-round pick out of Texas A&M, and Paea are getting one-year deals.

--Julius Peppers is a Panther once again. Carolina’s career sacks leader and No. 5 on the NFL chart left Green Bay to return to the team that drafted him second overall in 2002. The 37-year-old Peppers has 143 1/2 sacks during 15 NFL seasons. He played eight of those seasons for the Panthers (2002-2009) and was a two-time All-Pro. Carolina then dealt DE Kony Ealy to New England.


--College quarterback turned NFL receiver Terrelle Pryor left Cleveland for Washington for a one-year contract worth up to $8 million. The Redskins lost their two top receivers on Thursday in free agency, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson.

--The Minnesota Vikings accomplished their most obvious off-season goal by sirning former Detroit left tackle Riley Reiff and former Carolina right tackle Mike Remmers.

--The Tennessee Titans reconstructed their secondary by signing safety Johnathan Cyprien and cornerback Logan Ryan while also addressing their special teams by acquiring Daren Bates and Brynden Trawick.

--Veteran linebacker Lawrence Timmons of the Steelers joined the Dolphins for $12 million over two years.

--The Indianapolis Colts added linebackers Jabaal Sheard and John Simon a day after signing Barkevious Mingo. Sheard and Mingo were with the Patrios last season. The team earlier cut starting cornerback Patrick Robinson, who has only played in seven games last season because of injury, to save $2.5 million in cap space.

--The New York Jets have signed free agent kicker Chandler Catanzaro and offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum.