February 15, 2015 / 12:32 AM / in 3 years

National Football League roundup

(The Sports Xchange) - The New York Jets on Saturday declined to exercise an option to retain running back Chris Johnson.

Presenter Julian Edelman, of the New England Patriots, poses in the press room during the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The team did pick up $250,000 options on linebackers Calvin Pace and Jason Babin, who will combine to make about $3.5 million in 2015.

By not paying Johnson’s $500,000 bonus, the Jets are allowing him to become a free agent.

Johnson signed a two-year, $8 million contract after being released by the Tennessee Titans last year. By not keeping him, the Jets will save $4 million against the salary cap.

Johnson, a former 2,000-yard back, put together a disappointing season in 2014, rushing 155 times for 663 yards and a touchdown. He also was arrested last month in Orlando, Fla., and charged with the open carrying of a firearm.

The Jets also are expected to let quarterback Michael Vick become a free agent. Vick, 34, took over for starter Geno Smith several times last season, appearing in 10 games.

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The Dallas Cowboys have declined the three-year option on defensive tackle Henry Melton.

Melton’s agent, Jordan Woy, confirmed a Dallas Morning News report that Melton will become a free agent and be available to sign with any team starting March 10.

The move will make Melton an unrestricted free agent for the second consecutive offseason. He would have made $9 million if the Cowboys had picked up the option.

Melton was a Pro Bowler for the Chicago Bears in 2012 and the Bears put the franchise tag on him in 2013. Melton suffered a torn ACL during the 2013 season. Melton had 15 tackles for the Cowboys in 2014, including five sacks.

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New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who took a hard helmet-to-helmet hit in the Super Bowl and appeared to be dazed after he got up, still will not say if he suffered a concussion.

In an interview with the New York Times, Edelman cited team policy against discussing injuries.

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Jim Harbaugh offered some insights into his departure from the San Francisco 49ers, saying Friday that the team wanted him out.

Harbaugh said he was informed on the Monday after a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15 that he would not be retained.

“Yes, I was told I wouldn’t be the coach anymore -- and you can call it mutual. I wasn’t going to put the 49ers in a position to have a coach they didn’t want anymore,” Harbaugh said during a podcast with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. “I didn’t leave the 49ers, I felt like the 49er hierarchy left me.”

But he chose to stick around until the end of the season.

“I wanted to finish what I started -- what we started,” Harbaugh said. “And I have great fond memories of it.”

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The Washington Redskins claimed offensive tackle Xavier Nixon off waivers on Friday, two days after he was let go by the Indianapolis Colts.

Editing by Gene Cherry

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