FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots released receiver Anthony Gonzalez less than three months after signing him.

Also Tuesday, the Patriots signed free-agent offensive lineman Jamey Richard, rookie free-agent tight end Nick Melillo and seventh-round draft choice Alfonzo Dennard, a defensive back.

Gonzalez was signed by the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent from Indianapolis in March. A first-round draft pick from Ohio State, he had 99 receptions for 1,307 yards and seven touchdowns in five seasons for the Colts despite a rash of injuries.

He has been active for only 11 games since the 2008 season.

Richard played four seasons with the Colts.

Dennard was selected with the 224th pick overall from Nebraska.


STEELERS: Pittsburgh signed third-round pick Sean Spence, a linebacker, to a four-year contract. Financial details were not disclosed.


A LAWSUIT filed against the NFL Players Association by retirees has been dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson issued her order from St. Paul, Minn.

Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller, a former Vikings star, was the lead plaintiff in the complaint that argued current players and their lawyers had no right to bargain with NFL owners about retiree benefits because they weren’t legally a union last summer.

Michael Hausfeld, the lead lawyer for the retired players, said his group plans to appeal Nelson’s decision. He called her findings “elucidating and disappointing overall.”

The retirees felt they lost money because they couldn’t represent themselves in the labor talks.


BILLS: Receiver Stevie Johnson is expected to miss most – if not all – of the team’s offseason minicamp practices to give him time to recover from groin surgery.


COLTS: Indianapolis signed free-agent offensive tackle George Foster and waived fullback Ryan Mahaffey.

Foster was Denver’s first-round pick in 2003, No. 20 overall. He played four seasons with the Broncos before spending two seasons in Detroit, then moved to Cleveland in 2009. Foster spent the 2010 season with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League and resuscitated his NFL career with New Orleans last season.


DOLPHINS: HBO announced Miami would be the newest subject of “Hard Knocks” — its popular reality series documenting NFL training camps. The seventh season premieres Aug. 7, with four more one-hour episodes airing on subsequent Tuesdays.


JAGUARS: Jacksonville signed 2012 second-round draft pick Andre Branch, a defensive end, the 38th overall pick in April.


JETS: New York signed offensive tackles Stephon Heyer and Ray Willis.

Heyer started 33 games for the Redskins from 2007-10, then signed with Oakland as a free agent.

Willis spent six seasons with Seattle (2005-2010). After missing 2010 on injured reserve, he spent two weeks with New Orleans last year.