NFL Almanac – 3/5

Items of note

Retirement – former Chargers/Bills OLB Shawne Merriman announced his retirement on Tuesday. The 28-year old was the 12th choice of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Maryland by San Diego. In 2006 he had 17 sacks in 12 games and after three years had 39.5 sacks. After the ’07 season, his production fell dramatically because of injuries. He ended up in Buffalo and had just 2 sacks there.

Cleveland – the Browns announced they are dropping personal seat licenses for new season ticket buyers. Since the stadium opened when a team returned to Cleveland in 1999, fans had to buy a PSL to buy tickets. That will no longer be the case for new buyers; current PSL holders do not get relief. They still hold the license, which can be sold. Once they drop the seats, the PSL will die.

Contracts, transactions & front office moves

Atlanta – re-signed RB Antone Smith to a 2-year contract; a soon to be restricted free agent, Smith got most of his work last season with the Falcons in the kicking game, picking up 4 tackles in special teams coverage.

Cleveland – named Ray Farmer as assistant general manager and Mike Lombardi as general manager; Farmer spent the last seven seasons with the Chiefs as pro personnel director.

Detroit – signed P Blake Clingan; he has not punted since 2010 at the University of Central Florida. The Lions have had six punters in the last 2 years.

Seattle – signed TE Darren Fells; he’s a former professional basketball player who stands 6-7 and weighs 280 pounds. After college basketball at UC-Irvine, he got paid to play in Argentina, Mexico, France, Finland and Belgium. His brother is New England TE Daniel Fells.

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