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Bengals hire Giants aide Anarumo as DC

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

CINCINNATI (AP) Lou Anarumo was working on the New York Giants' offseason plans when he got a call from an old friend from Miami. Zac Taylor wondered if he would be interested in discussing the job as the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator.

A week later, he got the job, ending the Bengals' lengthy search for someone to handle the defense.

Anarumo was hired Thursday as the Bengals' fourth defensive coordinator in the last three years, an indication of how much they have struggled with that unit. Head coach Marvin Lewis took over the role midway through last season after Teryl Austin was fired, and Lewis was let go at the end of the season.

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Ex-Lions WR Johnson OK'd for pot clinic

LANSING, Mich. (AP) Former Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson has received preliminary approval of his license application for a medical marijuana dispensary in suburban Detroit.

Michigan's Medical Marihuana Licensing Board voted 4-0 Thursday in favor of the application.

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Bears release TE Sims

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) The Chicago Bears have released tight end Dion Sims.

Signed by Chicago in 2017 after spending his first four years with Miami, Sims caught 17 passes for 189 yards over 22 games the past two years. But he went from making 14 starts to playing in just eight games last season - Chicago's first under coach Matt Nagy.

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Saints cut veteran S Coleman

METAIRIE, La. (AP) The New Orleans Saints have released veteran safety Kurt Coleman after only one season.

The move, listed on the NFL's official transactions report on Thursday afternoon, will save the Saints at least $4 million but comes less than a year after New Orleans signed Coleman to a three-year deal worth more than $16 million.

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Steelers won't tag Bell; eye Brown trade

PITTSBURGH (AP) Le'Veon Bell is free to go. Antonio Brown, maybe not so much.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have no plans to place a transition tag on Bell, allowing the star running back to reach the open market when free agency begins next month. And while the team will explore moving Brown, general manager Kevin Colbert stressed Wednesday the Steelers will not cut the talented but turbulent star wide receiver just to appease him.

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Browns sign ex-Texans WR Strong

CLEVELAND (AP) The Browns boosted their wide receiving group by signing Jaelen Strong, who missed last season with a knee injury.

A former third-round pick, Strong sat out 2018 after tearing a knee ligament late in the 2017 season with Jacksonville. The 25-year-old has made three starts and played in 20 NFL games with Houston and the Jaguars.

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Chiefs turn to Spagnuolo to shore up D

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Steve Spagnuolo spent much of his year out of coaching making the 45-minute drive from his home in Philadelphia to the headquarters of NFL Films in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

Spagnuolo had finished a tour as the interim coach of the New York Giants and missed out on the full-time job after the season. He turned down an assistant coaching offer and decided instead to spend the season recharging his proverbial batteries while getting a different perspective on the league.

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Panthers RB coach Skipper retires

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Panthers running backs coach Jim Skipper has retired from coaching after 32 years in the NFL, including 15 with Carolina.

Carolina ranked in the top 10 in rushing yards eight times in Skipper's 15 seasons, including each of the last five years. Carolina's running backs went to six Pro Bowls under Skipper and four were voted All-Pro.

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Roman changes Ravens offense for Jackson

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Greg Roman is off to a running start in his new role as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, working long hours to construct a unit that can fully utilize the talents of quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The Ravens closed the regular season with a 6-1 run behind Jackson, who keyed an effective ground game with frequent forays out of the pocket and downfield. Baltimore ended a three-year hiatus from the playoffs, winning the AFC North before losing to the Chargers.

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Cards sign veteran TE Clay for 1 year

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals have signed veteran tight end Charles Clay to a one-year contract.

Terms of the deal announced Tuesday were not disclosed.

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