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Ex-Cats get free-agent deals with Browns, Redskins

Citizen Staff Writer



Safety Nate Ness has a knack for making things happen at every level at which he plays.

The former Arizona Wildcats defensive back is out to prove he can get the job done for Cleveland, signing a free-agent deal with the Browns on Monday.

“I had a lot of teams talking to me, but I really liked Cleveland,” Ness said. “After looking at the depth chart, I feel I have a good chance to come in and compete right away.

“I want a chance to show them what I can do.”

Ness was among several Wildcats looking for free-agent deals.

Linebacker Ronnie Palmer also found a home Monday, signing with Washington.

Palmer, Arizona’s leading tackler in 2008 with 85, including 11 for losses to go with 2 1/2 sacks, will start his career with the Redskins.

Jacksonville took two ex-Wildcats in the draft; offensive lineman Eben Britton went in the second round and receiver Mike Thomas in the fourth.

Ness had Tennessee, Green Bay, Seattle, Chicago and New Orleans among teams talking to him.

The Browns and new defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson had talked to Ness the past couple of weeks.

“(Henderson) said they would love to have me, but even if they didn’t draft me they wanted me as a free agent,” Ness said. “He said the Browns have a good opportunity for me to play.”

Ness, who picked off 18 passes at El Camino (Calif.) College and seven at Arizona, heads to Cleveland for a rookie minicamp this weekend.

“I am going to go there with a chip on my shoulder about not being drafted,” Ness said. “I am disappointed, but I am going to try not to dwell on it.”

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