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Patriots sign Jabaal Sheard; Former Browns LB was targeted by Bengals

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Jabaal Sheard had interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The market for pass-rushers in NFL Free agency is getting thinner.

The Patriots just worked out a deal for former Browns linebacker Jabaal Sheard. He was signed to a two-year, $11 million contract. New England was able to get him over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengalswho were reportedly interested in Sheard.

A former second-round pick out of Pitt in the 2011 NFL draft, Sheard notched 23 sacks in four seasons with the Browns. After a solid first two seasons (15.5 sacks and six forced fumbles), Sheard's productivity in both categories has diminished over the past few seasons. He has just 7.5 sacks and one forced fumble from 2013-14.

Still, he would have been a nice addition to Cincinnati, but they'd rather have Michael Johnson anyways. With Sheard off the market, this will only increase the urgency the Bengals show in pursuing Johnson after the Buccaneers cut him Wednesday.