Smith: 'Football is back'

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Smith: 'Football is back'

CSNNE.com Staff Follow @csnnewengland

Finally, a press conference from NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith that brings good news.

The players have agreed on terms with the new CBA, and normal football operations will be underway starting Tuesday.

"We wanted to let everyone know who loves this game that the board of player representatives and the executive committee of the NFLPA unanimously recommended the approval of the deal," Smith said.

Luckily, the lockout will not affect the regular season. Still, having to hear about the lockout constantly instead of the normal offseason team news was tough for fans to deal with. The players and owners did get through it, but Smith had one last thank-you to all the big NFL fans out there.

"To our fans, I know that you love this game as much as I do," Smith said. "And i know that it has been a very long process since the day we stood there that night in March. But out guys stuck together when nobody thought we would. And football is back because of it."

"I'm proud of the men that you see behind me. I'm proud of the former players who have stood with us. And most of all, I dig our fans who love our game."

Report: Patriots fill open roster spot with former Browns DL Hughes

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Report: Patriots fill open roster spot with former Browns DL Hughes

The Patriots opened a roster spot by waiving defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, but they won't be adding a quarterback to take his place. 

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the team has swapped one defensive tackle for another by adding former Browns big man John Hughes, a 6-foot-2, 320-pounder who played under former assistant to the Patriots coaching staff Mike Lombardi when Lombardi was Cleveland's general manager in 2013. 

Hughes was released last week after spending just over four years with the team that drafted him in the third round in 2012. He signed a four-year extension with the Browns last season that was worth $12.8 million. 

With the Patriots, Hughes figures to work in as part of the rotation on the interior of the defensive line along with Malcom Brown, Alan Branch and rookie third-round pick Vincent Valentine. Unlike Johnson, who was more of a penetrating pass-rusher, Hughes should factor in as more of a space-eating type. He has 5.5 career sacks in 53 games. 

Johnson is the latest in a long line of Browns who played under Lombardi to end up in New England. The two most notable Patriots who spent 2013 in Cleveland are defensive end Jabaal Sheard and running back Dion Lewis. Linebacker Barkevious Mingo, who arrived in New England in a trade this summer, was drafted by Lombardi's front office as the No. 6 overall pick in 2013.