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Report: Patriots interested in OLB Sheard

According to Yahoo! Sports, the Patriots are in the running to sign Browns free agent outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard.

Yahoo says that New England is among a group of teams showing interesting in the four-year veteran, a list that also includes the Buccaneers, Bengals and Seahawks.

In four seasons the 6-3, 264-pound former second-round pick has played in 61 games with 50 starts in Cleveland. He started every game he played over his first three seasons, but started only five of 16 games played last fall in Mike Pettine's first year running the Browns.

Sheard's best year in terms of sack production came as a rookie in 2011 when he notched 8.5. That number has dropped each season since from to 7, 5.5 and then just two sacks in more limited playing time this past fall. Sheard also tallied five forced fumbles in his rookie season, though he's totaled just two in the three years since.

Sheard might be seen as an option to add pass rush depth behind the likes of Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, as well as slot into the reserve role held this past season by Akeem Ayers, who is set to hit free agency.

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