The Cleveland Browns have released veteran defensive end Frostee Rucker.
The Browns signed Rucker, 29, to a 5-year, $20 million deal before the 2012 season. On that contract, $8 million was guaranteed and he had already been paid $5.5 million between his signing bonus and first-year salary. Rucker was due $2 million in a roster bonus had he not been released by Wednesday, February 6. The last three years — covering rougly $12 million — were not guaranteed.
Rucker — once mistaken for a NASCAR driver — was a 4-3 end with the Cincinnati Bengals before being signed by the Browns; the team’s impending switch to a 3-4 defense coupled with the lack of guaranteed money owed made this move relatively unsurprising.
Rucker, 6-3, 285, was a third round pick out of Southern Cal in 2006. In 2011, he started the final 11 games for the Bengals, making 44 tackles and four sacks. Rucker started all 16 games for the Browns in 2012. He amassed 48 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble.
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