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Browns cut Shaun Rogers, 5 others

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CLEVELAND (AP)

The Cleveland Browns are cleaning house.

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

In addition, the Browns, who are rebuilding once 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.

All six of the players are over age 30, and the moves will save the Browns nearly $19 million in base salaries.

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.

The Browns announced the cuts in a one-paragraph statement, and moments later Barton expressed his disappointment at being let go 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. He lost favor with former coach Eric Mangini, who used to go out of his way to praise defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin. 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 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' upset of New Orleans on Oct. 24.

Tagged: Browns, Shaun Rogers, David Bowens, Eric Barton, John St. Clair

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