NFL roundup: Packers land Julius Peppers, Ben Tate signs with Cleveland, and more

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Packers made the biggest splash on an otherwise quiet Saturday, inking Julius Peppers to a three-year deal. In addition, Ben Tate is signing with the Browns and the Patriots are talking to Julian Edelman. Your complete NFL roundup for the day.

With most of the A-list free agents off the market, NFL free agency started to slow a bit heading into the weekend. That said, there are still plenty of notable names looking for suitors, and the Green Bay Packers have landed one of the top names, signing defensive end Julius Peppers to a three-year, $30 million contract, via ESPN's Josina Anderson. The deal includes $7.5 million in guaranteed money.

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Peppers spent the previous four seasons with the Chicago Bears before being released in a salary cap crunch. The Dallas Cowboys expressed interest in the veteran, but he chose to stay in the NFC North. Peppers' numbers have declined in recent years and he turned 34 years old in January, but he remains a quality pass rusher, recording 7.5 sacks in 2013. The move is a bit out of character for Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson, who isn't known for making splashy moves in free agency, but Peppers should be a boost to the Packers' defensive line.

Ben Tate signs with Cleveland Browns

The Browns have found their new running back for 2014. Ben Tate has signed a two-year deal with Cleveland, via ESPN's Adam Schefter. Tate has been visiting with the Browns since Thursday and took his physical on Saturday. The contract is expected to be performance-based, as Tate has had trouble staying healthy throughout his career. He rushed for 771 yards and 4.3 yards per carry in 14 games with the Houston Texans last year.

Julian Edelman, Patriots working on deal

The New England Patriots let Julian Edelman test the open market when free agency started, but they're still making a push to re-sign him. The sides are close to a new deal, according to CBS' Jason La Canfora. Edelman also visited the San Francisco 49ers and had interest from the Browns. He is looking to cash in on a career year after posting 105 catches and 1,056 yards. Sticking with Tom Brady seems to make the most sense for both sides, considering Danny Amendola's injury woes and inconsistent rookie years from Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins.

Buffalo Bills sign Anthony Dixon

The Bills added more depth to their backfield, signing running back Anthony Dixon away from the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday morning after Dixon himself announced it on Friday. Dixon spent the past four years in San Francisco, operating as a No. 3 back behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. He'll look to serve that same role in Buffalo, with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson the top two backs. Spiller has had injury problems and Jackson is 33 years old, though, so Dixon could end up seeing more playing time than expected.

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Brandon Spikes joins Buffalo

The Bills weren't done making moves, signing linebacker Brandon Spikes to a one-year, $3.25 million contract, via the Associated Press' John Wawrow. Spikes was drafted by the New England Patriots and spent four years there, but he'll be staying in the division.The Bills already confirmed that Kiko Alonso will move to the weak side, leaving Spikes free to roam the middle. He's a top-tier run defender, but the market has been soft on run-stopping linebackers this year, making this a quality value signing for the Bills. Spikes had 86 tackles and an interception in 2013, but missed the playoffs with a knee injury.

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