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NFL: Fletcher joins Patriots

Reports said the embattled former Eagle signed a one-year contract.

Cornerback Bradley Fletcher, who bore much of the blame for the Eagles' porous pass defense last season, has signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots, according to multiple reports.

Fletcher, who played two years for the Eagles, will have a chance to compete for a starting role, according to, which first reported the signing. The contract has a maximum value of $2.5 million, ESPN reported.

Last season, Fletcher ranked 92d of 108 cornerbacks, according to the Pro Football Focus website. He led all cornerbacks with 18 passes defended but allowed the most receiving yards of any cornerback (1,073), the most yards after the catch (362), and the second-most touchdowns (nine).

He was burned by the Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson and the Washington Redskins' (and former teammate) DeSean Jackson, and was beaten by Dez Bryant for three touchdowns in a December home loss to the Cowboys.

Fletcher follows another maligned Eagles defensive back, Patrick Chung, to New England. Chung rejoined the Patriots last offseason and helped them win a Super Bowl.

The Patriots also are adding former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert McClain, who tweeted Tuesday that he was signing with the team.

Ravens release Pierce

Baltimore released former Temple Owls running back Bernard Pierce hours after he was charged with drunken driving.

Baltimore County police said an officer stopped a Ford Mustang that was speeding around 2 a.m. Wednesday in Towson, north of Baltimore.

Police spokesman Cpl. John Wachter said Pierce had been driving 55 m.p.h. in a 30 m.p.h. zone, and that Pierce failed a series of field sobriety tests. Pierce was taken to a station house in Towson for processing and later released.

Pierce is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol and two additional speeding offenses.

The Ravens' release of Pierce, 23, was in line with the team's assertion last month that off-field misbehavior would not be tolerated.

Five Ravens players were arrested last year, most notably running back Ray Rice for domestic violence, an offense that led to his suspension by the NFL and his release from the team.

Last season, Pierce was expected to take over the starting job after Rice received a two-game suspension from the league. But Pierce never played up to his potential, getting only two starts before being replaced by Justin Forsett.

Drafted in the third round in 2002, Pierce started three games in three years with Baltimore. He ran for 1,334 yards and five touchdowns in 45 games over three seasons.

Cowboys sign Hardy

Dallas made its big play in free agency with defensive end Greg Hardy. Now they wait to see how soon the former Carolina player will boost their mediocre pass rush.

With Hardy facing a league suspension for violating the NFL's domestic conduct policy, the team signed him to a one-year deal valued at up to $13.1 million if he meets incentives. A person with knowledge of the contract provided details on condition of anonymity because terms were not announced.