The Latest: Bills to sign All-Pro return specialist Roberts

By The Associated Press undefined

The Latest on NFL free agency Thursday (all times EDT):

11 a.m.

A person familiar with the discussions confirms to The Associated Press that the Buffalo Bills have agreed to sign return specialist and receiver Andre Roberts.

The person spoke to the AP on Thursday on the condition of anonymity because the contract has not yet been signed. ESPN.com first reported the agreement.

Roberts has eight seasons of NFL experience and earned his first All-Pro honors last season after leading the NFL with 1,174 kickoff return yards with the New York Jets. He also led the NFL in averaging 14.1 yards per punt return.

Roberts had 176 yards on five kickoff returns alone in the Jets’ 27-23 win at Buffalo in December.

The Bills had numerous struggles on special teams and lacked a proven return specialist.

–Reporting by John Wawrow.


10:30 a.m.

The New York Jets have released running back Isaiah Crowell, an expected move after the team agreed to terms early Wednesday morning with Le’Veon Bell.

Crowell spent one season with the Jets after playing his first four in Cleveland. He broke the franchise record with 219 yards rushing on just 15 carries in New York’s win over Denver in Week 5. He also set the team mark with 231 yards from scrimmage.

The Jets had until Friday before $2 million of Crowell’s $4 million salary became guaranteed. By releasing him now, New York gains $3 million on the salary cap, but is stuck with $2 million in dead money.

The addition of Bell, a move not yet officially announced by the Jets, made Crowell expendable. The former Pittsburgh Steelers star agreed to a four-year deal worth $52.5 million, including $35 million in guarantees.

The 26-year-old Crowell finished with 685 yards rushing and six touchdowns last year before a toe injury ended his season in December.

Crowell made headlines in New York’s Week 3 loss at Cleveland last season when he scored a touchdown in the second quarter against his former team and wiped the football against his rear end. The crude celebration resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and, later, a $13,369 fine from the NFL. It wasn’t all bad for Crowell, who received an endorsement deal with DUDE Wipes, a company that sells a toilet paper substitute for men.

New York also announced it has re-signed starting nose tackle Steve McLendon, who has spent the last three years with the team, as well as offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison and defensive back Darryl Roberts.

–Reporting by Dennis Waszak Jr.


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