DL Rogers among half-dozen players released by Browns

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns are cleaning house.

The team Wednesday terminated the contracts of some big-name players, including their biggest player -- enormous nose tackle Shaun Rogers.

The Browns, who are rebuilding again under new coach Pat Shurmur, also released veteran linebackers Eric Barton and David Bowens, defensive end Kenyon Coleman, tight end Robert Royal and right offensive tackle John St. Clair.

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The 350-pound-plus Rogers, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, was slowed by injuries and played sparingly last season. He was due to make $5.5 million in 2011 with a $500,000 roster bonus and $100,000 workout bonus.

The Browns announced the cuts in a one-paragraph statement, and moments later Barton expressed his disappointment on his Twitter account.

"No longer a Cleveland brown," Barton wrote. "I'm gonna miss the great friends I met there."

Rogers was on his own practice schedule last season, resting a leg injury so he could play on Sundays, and lost favor with former coach Eric Mangini. A Pro Bowler in 2008, Rogers played in 15 games but only made one start and finished with just 17 tackles.

Barton and Bowens were signed as free agents in Cleveland by Mangini, who was fired in January following his second straight 5-11 season. Coleman, who started 14 games at left end last season, also played for Mangini with the New York Jets before he was brought to Cleveland in a trade.

St. Clair made 10 starts last season, but he missed five games with an ankle injury.

The Browns are expected to switch from a 3-4 defensive scheme to a 4-3 under new coordinator Dick Jauron, who coached Rogers in Detroit.

Bowens, who was close to being cut before the season, played well despite a knee injury and provided valuable leadership. He also returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the Browns' Oct. 24 upset of New Orleans.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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