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News » 'Pork' to beef up line

'Pork' to beef up line

'Pork' to beef up line
The Jets Express deposited another player in Cleveland , and the Browns beefed up their offensive line with a guy named Pork Chop.

On Friday, the team signed former New York Jets linebacker Eric Barton, 31, and former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack, 30, as unrestricted free agents. Terms of their deals were not disclosed.

"We're pleased to have Eric and Floyd join the Browns," General Manager George Kokinis said in a statement. "Both will add a great deal of experience and versatility to the team."

Barton, an inside linebacker who started all 16 games for the Jets last season, is the fourth former Jet signed by Browns coach Eric Mangini. The others are linebacker David Bowens, defensive lineman C.J. Mosley and cornerback Hank Poteat. The Browns also have signed Jets safety Abram Elam to a one-year offer sheet, which New York has seven days to match.

Barton, an 11th-year pro, often was praised by Mangini for intelligence and ability to call the defensive signals. Primarily a first- and second-down player, Barton is known for his durability. In 2008, he made 127 tackles - the second-highest in his career. It was the fifth time he's notched 100 or more in a season.

Barton had 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one recovery and four passes defensed.

Barton, who will turn 32 in September, will challenge for a starting spot inside next to D'Qwell Jackson. Originally a fifth-round pick of the Raiders in 1999 out of Maryland, he spent five seasons in Oakland before signing with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent in 2004. A career highlight was his 13 tackles in the Raiders' Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay in 2003.

Womack (6-4, 320), an eight-year veteran of the Seahawks, is a versatile lineman who can play all the positions except center. Last season, he started 14 games - eight at right guard and six at left guard - in one of his healthiest seasons.

After missing 12 games because of injuries in 2005 and 2006, Womack attributed his solid 2008 season to dropping 25 pounds and playing at 320 - his lightest since junior high.

Originally a fourth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2001, he started 47 of his 90 games played. With the Browns, he'll most likely play on the right side and could start. He's best suited for guard, but has started games at right and left tackle.

In other Browns news, Big Bonus Friday came and went with no more heads rolling. The Browns paid bonuses to quarterback Derek Anderson ($5 million), defensive end Corey Williams ($6 million) and running back Jamal Lewis ($4 million), according to sources. They're also believed to have paid the bonuses to defensive tackle Shaun Rogers ($6 million), left tackle Joe Thomas ($3.44 million) and receiver Dont? Stallworth ($4.75 million).

Rogers, disgruntled over perceived slights by coach Eric Mangini, had asked the Browns not to pay the bonus and to release him.

As for Anderson, the bonus increases his trade value, but it's not known if the Browns intend to trade him.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: mcabot@plaind.com, 216-999-4670

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 17, 2009

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