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Jets release CB Roberts; agree with OL Andrews, S Christian

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nyjets01NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets have released cornerback Darryl Roberts after four seasons with the team as a sometime starter and valuable backup.

The move Saturday saves the Jets $6 million - his entire salary due - on the cap for the upcoming season. New York had to make a decision by the end of the day on Roberts, who would have had $2 million of his salary become fully guaranteed.

The Jets also agreed to terms with veteran offensive lineman Josh Andrews, agent Brett Tessler announced on Twitter.

A person with direct knowledge of the deal said New York and former Los Angeles Rams safety Marqui Christian have also agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth up to $2 million. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams can’t announce deals until they are officially signed.

The 29-year-old Roberts started 10 games in each of the last two years, including sliding over to safety for two games last season when Jamal Adams was injured. He also was a key player on special teams.

Last season was marked by inconsistent play and a calf injury that sidelined him for three games. Roberts was then replaced in the starting lineup by Arthur Maulet, and Roberts didn’t start again at cornerback.

The departure of Roberts means both of the Jets’ primary starters at cornerback last season have been let go by general manager Joe Douglas this week. New York already released Trumaine Johnson, who played in only 17 games the last two years and never lived up to expectations after signing a five-year, $72.5 million contract in 2018.

The cornerback spot will have a new look this season, although New York re-signed nickel cornerback Brian Poole on Wednesday - a move the team made official on Saturday - and brought back Maulet on Friday after not offering him a restricted free agent tender.

Roberts was drafted by New England out of Marshall in 2015, but missed the season after injuring a wrist in the preseason. He was among the Patriots’ final cuts in 2016, and the Jets claimed him off waivers. Roberts gradually worked his way into a regular role on defense, and earned a three-year, $18 million contract extension with the Jets last offseason. He was scheduled to count $7.5 million on the salary cap in 2021.

Roberts has 172 career tackles, three interceptions and 17 passes defensed.

Andrews spent the last two seasons with Indianapolis and played in nine games with the Colts during that span. The 28-year-old guard/center was signed by Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon State in 2014 and spent four seasons with the Eagles. He signed with Minnesota in 2018 before ending up back in Philadelphia for a second stint and eventually being signed off the Eagles’ practice squad by the Colts.

He should add depth to the Jets’ offensive line, which has been the primary focus in free agency by Douglas. The Jets have also re-signed guard Alex Lewis, and agreed to terms with tackle George Fant and center Connor McGovern.

Christian was a fifth-round pick of Arizona in 2016 out of Midwestern State and spent the last four seasons with the Rams. Primarily a safety, the 25-year-old defensive back has also been a key special teams contributor in his NFL career.