Browns acquire RB Dion Lewis: The Browns have acquired backup running back Dion Lewis from the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade for linebacker Emmanuel Acho. Lewis played 24 games in two seasons with the Eagles, who selected him in the fifth round in 2011. He rushed for 171 yards on 36 carries and scored two touchdowns. The 5-foot-8, 195-pound Lewis also returned kickoffs for Philadelphia as a rookie and will likely be a candidate to take over those duties for Cleveland. The Browns didn’t re-sign Pro Bowl specialist Josh Cribbs this offseason. Lewis averaged 21.6 yards on 31 kickoff returns in 2011. Acho spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve after injuring his knee. The Browns selected the former Texas linebacker in the sixth round last year.
Haslam gives up stake in Steelers: New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam no longer has a stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers announced Thursday that Haslam’s minority share in the team has been bought by existing stockholders and new investors Scott and Russ Swank. Haslam purchased the Browns in October and directed Steelers President Art Rooney II and Morgan Stanley to find suitable buyers for the shares he acquired in 2008. Haslam spent $1.05 billion last October to buy a 70 percent stake in the Browns from Randy Lerner. Haslam — who made his fortune as president and CEO of Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas — will receive the remaining 30 percent owned by Lerner in 2016.
Hurd pleads guilty: Former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd has apologized as he pleaded guilty to trying to buy cocaine and marijuana to set up a drug-distribution network. The tall, lanky Hurd leaned into a courtroom microphone Thursday in Dallas during a plea hearing and asked to address the court. He told U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis, “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done.” Hurd added that he intended all along to plead guilty to the charge against him. The 27-year-old Hurd faces a minimum 10-year sentence for conspiracy to possess cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute.
Patriots re-sign Edelman: New England has re-signed wide receiver Julian Edelman, a former Kent State quarterback. He was an unrestricted free agent. The 26-year-old former seventh-round draft choice caught 21 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns last season before going on injured reserve with a foot injury. In four NFL seasons, he has 69 receptions for 714 yards and four touchdowns. He has also returned three punts for touchdowns, including a franchise-record 94-yarder against Miami in the 2010 season.
Lions sign Norwegian kicker: The Detroit Lions have signed kicker Havard Rugland. Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed by the team Thursday. Detroit’s deal with Rugland seems to give newly acquired kicker David Akers some competition or at least provides some depth at the position for practice. The Lions recently signed Akers soon after Jason Hanson retired and now also has a Norwegian Internet kicking sensation on the roster. A trick-shot video — called “Kickalicious” — the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Rugland posted in September has more than 2.7 million views. Rugland played amateur soccer in his native Norway before taking an interest in football in 2011. He had tryouts for the Lions and New York Jets and has been working out at Michael Husted’s pro kicking camp in Florida.