BOSTON — New England Patriots special teamer Nate Ebner is taking a break from the NFL to attempt to earn a spot with the U.S. Rugby team in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The Patriots will keep Ebner under contract while he trains with the U.S. Rugby Sevens team at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.

New England announced Tuesday that it had re-signed the unrestricted free agent, who has appeared mostly on special teams in his 57 career games.

Ebner was Team USA’s MVP in the 2007 and 2008 Junior World Championship. He played rugby exclusively his first two years at Ohio State before walking onto the football team as a junior.

He was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2012 draft.

GIANTS: Recent surgery on the mangled right hand of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul went well, and he hopes to play next season without a “club” on it.

Speaking for the first time since signing a one-year contract, Pierre-Paul wasn’t specific Tuesday in discussing the fireworks injury. He did not say whether his dexterity has improved since surgery, and he isn’t sure what he will wear on the hand..

The 27-year-old, who missed the first eight games last season because of the firework accident, plans to attend the Giants’ off-season training sessions.

BRONCOS: Denver matched the Dolphins’ front-loaded, four-year, $18 million offer to running back C.J. Anderson.

General Manager John Elway tweeted, “Just got off the phone w/ CJ & let him know we’re excited to match the offer sheet. We have high expectations for CJ and we’re glad he’s back!”

The move was somewhat surprising because the Broncos had placed the lower tender on Anderson, a restricted free agent.

That $1.671 million tender included no compensation had the Broncos declined to match another team’s offer sheet. A higher tender of $2.553 million would have included a second-round draft pick as compensation.

Anderson ran for 720 yards and five touchdowns last season.

RAVENS: Free agent receiver Mike Wallace signed a two-year contract with Baltimore.

Wallace was released by Minnesota on March 8 after he caught 39 passes for a career-low 473 yards in 2015, but he should give the Ravens the outside speed they’ve lacked.

BENGALS: Cincinnati retained its top cornerback, signing Adam “Pacman” Jones to a three-year deal.

Jones led the Bengals’ secondary in a 12-4 season that ended with a playoff loss to Pittsburgh. Jones’ personal foul for bumping an official helped set up the Steelers’ winning field goal.

WASHINGTON: The team re-signed cornerback Will Blackmon, a nine-year veteran who had two interceptions in 15 games last season.

VIKINGS: Cornerback Terence Newman re-signed, agreeing to a one-year contract worth as much as $3 million. Newman starting all 17 games, including the playoffs, last season, his first with the team.

SEAHAWKS: Seattle continued to address its offensive line by agreeing to a $6.25 million, two-year contract with J’Marcus Webb.

JAGUARS: Former Steelers left tackle Kelvin Beachum agreed to a two-year contract, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations.


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