Source: Patriots try out a dozen players, including Jeff Mathews

The New England Patriots tried out a dozen players on Saturday, including former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Jeff Mathews, according to a league source.

Mathews was featured on Hard Knocks' HBO program where he was struggling to get down the Falcons' offense.

The Patriots also tried out former San Francisco 49ers quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Armon Binns, former Baltimore Ravens safety Omar Brown, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Deveron Carr, former St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo, former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo, former Cleveland Browns defensive end Cam Henderson, former Detroit Lions cornerback Aaron Hester, former Washington Redskins wide receiver Rashad Lawrence, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Kevin Reddick and former Atlanta Falcons running back Jerome Smith.

None of the players were immediately signed to a contract, though.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Bohl-less Bison continue to wreak havoc on FBS

No Craig Bohl, no problem for North Dakota State.

Despite having to replace its head coach, several assistants and 12 senior starters, the Bison claimed their fifth victory in a row over an FBS opponent with a thorough 34-14 win on Saturday at Iowa State, which had jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the contest.

First-year head coach and former defensive coordinator Chris Klieman, who took over for Bohl when he departed for Wyoming, helped the Bison win their 25th game in a row and keep the party going in Fargo, whose fans have seen the team claim three consecutive FCS championships.

But the story on Saturday was the continued success against FBS foes, with the Cyclones being the newest victim. The Bison beat Kansas in 2010, Minnesota in 2011, Colorado State in 2012 and Kansas State last season. As of now, the Bison don't have an FBS team on the 2015 slate but are scheduled to face Iowa in 2016.

The No. 1 team in the FCS preseason poll entered the new year with Carson Wentz taking over under center for Brock Jensen, who spent a little time with the Miami Dolphins this offseason. Wentz had good poise in his first start and finished 18 of 28 passing for 204 yards with zero interceptions. Meanwhile, John Crockett ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns.

Despite the changes on the coaching staff and player personnel losses, the Bison looked just as tough, physical and well coached as ever. There's no doubt that this program has come a long way from being a 2-8 team in the D-II North Central Conference, as it was in 2002.

Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

Michael Sam released by St. Louis

History will have to hold, at least for now.

The St. Louis Rams waived rookie defensive end Michael Sam on Saturday, according to Sam had an impressive preseason, tallying three sacks. However, the Rams were stacked on the defensive line as it became a numbers game.

Sam is looking to become the first openly gay player on an NFL roster. He will be subjected to waivers. If he passes through, he'll be free to either sign with any team that wants him or to join the St. Louis practice squad.

After the Rams' final preseason game, Sam told reporters he wasn't worried and that he was confident he'd be on a team's roster.

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Danieal Manning among Bengals cuts

The Cincinnati Bengals decided not to bring on veteran safety Danieal Manning for the 2014 season.

Manning, who had his contract terminated by the club, was among the final cuts Cincinnati made when trimming down to its 53-man roster. Another veteran who was released into free agency was offensive tackle Will Svitek.

The Bengals also waived H-back Orson Charles, OT Dan France, CB Victor Hampton, DT David King, WR Colin Lockett, CB Onterio McCalebb, DE Dontay Moch, DE Sam Montgomery, C Trevor Robinson, DT Devon Still, FB Nikita Whitlock and RB James Wilder Jr.

Offensive guard Trey Hopins (leg) was moved to season-ending injured reserve and quarterback AJ McCarron was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. McCarron will be ineligible to play for the first six games of the season.

Cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris has been moved to the reserve/suspended by commissioner list and will be out for the first two games of 2014. Lewis-Harris was found in violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

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Steelers get down to 53 players

The Steelers announced that they've trimmed their roster down to 53 players.

The final cuts were TE Rob Blanchflower, TE Bryce Davis, TE David Paulson, DB Isaiah Green, DB Dayonne Nunley, DB Shaquille Richardson, DBRoss Ventrone, RB Josh Harris, RB Stephen Houston, DL Ethan Hemer, DL Josh Mauro, DL Roy Philon, DL Nick Williams, LB Chris Carter, LB Howard Jones, LB Dan Molls, QB Brendon Kay, WR Derek Moye, WR Lanear Sampson, OL Graham Pocic, OL Will Simmons and OL Guy Whimper.

There were no surprises with Pittsburgh's moves on Saturday.

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Source: Jaguars cut safety Sherrod Martin

The Jacksonville Jaguars have released veteran safety Sherrod Martin, according to a source.

Martin is healthy and had a good preseason and is expected to be claimed.

Before joining the Jaguars, Martin previously worked out for the Jaguars and Chicago Bears, visiting the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs this year.

Martin, 28, is a former Carolina Panthers second-round draft pick from Troy who ended last season on injured reserve with torn right anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments that limited him to a dozen games.

He was selected 59th overall in the 2009 NFL draft.

In four seasons with the Panthers, the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder has 199 career tackles, 20 pass deflections, seven interceptions and one forced fumble.

In his first career start against the Arizona Cardinals, Martin intercepted two passes.

He was an All-Sun Belt Conference selection at Troy.

At Troy, the native of Griffin, Ga., had 292 career tackles, nine forced fumbles, nine interceptions, four sacks and three fumble recoveries.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Source: Browns cut quarterback Connor Shaw

The Cleveland Browns have cut former South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw, according to a league source.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier called Shaw the best quarterback in school history and he had a good preseason.

Shaw has run the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds with a 34-inch vertical leap, a 9-8 broad jump, a 4.33 short shuttle and a 7.07 three-cone drill at the NFL scouting combine.

Shaw is the winningest quarterback in school history with a 27-5 record as a starter and went 17-0 at home. He quarterbacked the highest-ranked team of all of the draft-eligible quarterbacks for the fourth-ranked Gamecocks.

The 6-foot, 208-pounder completed 63.4 percent of his passes last season for 2,447 yards, 24 touchdowns and one interception wiht a 162.94 quarterback rating. He also finished second on the team with 558 rushing yards and was named a permanent team captain. He was a finalist for the Unitas Award and a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award.

As a junior, Shaw was twice named SEC Offensive Player of the Week twice and completed a school-record 67.5 percent of his passer and finished third in the SEC with a 158.1 quarterback rating. He finished second on the team with 435 rushing yards and three touchdowns.As a sophomore, he completed 65.4 percent of his throws for 1,448 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions and rushed for 525 yards and eight touchdowns.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Lions cut receiver Kris Durham

The Detroit Lions decided to release receiver Kris Durham on Saturday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Durham has been a close friend of quarterback Matthew Stafford's since their college days at the University of Georgia, where they played together. A year ago, Stafford found Durham for 38 receptions and 490 yards.

Other Lions cuts, per the Free Press, are running back George Winn, former Central Michigan stars Darren Keyton and Shamari Benton, linebacker Brandon Hepburn, cornerback Mohammed Seisay, defensive end Darryl Tapp, offensive lineman Garrett Reynolds and safety Nate Nes.

Perhaps Durham's Bulldogs can cheer Durham up a bit with a win over Clemson at 5:30 p.m. ET this evening.

Follow me on Twitter: @JasonHButt

Jets waive Stephen Hill, Tajh Boyd

The New York Jets appear to have given up on 2012 second-round pick Stephen Hill.

The organization announced that it has waived the tall and speedy wideout after completing his second NFL season. Hill hasn't had his career get off to a good start. He's only recorded 594 yards and four touchdowns combined over two years.

His agent, Alan Herman, speaking to USA Today, expressed disappointment over the decision to waive Hill.

“He didn't have a chance that first year with that whole Tim Tebow-Mark Sanchez fiasco. … His second year, Geno Smith was learning how to play quarterback,” Herman said. “So they never threw the ball deep because they wanted to simplify things for Geno.”

Herman does have a point. Even though Hill wasn't as NFL ready as the Jets may have anticipated, it's not like he's been in a good sitaution quarterback-wise. Hill can't throw passes and run routes at the same time.

The Jets also waived sixth-round quarterback Tajh Boyd on Saturday. Boyd had a standout college career at Clemson and could be a practice squad candidate for the Jets if he clears waivers.

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Patriots waive receiver Josh Boyce

The New England Patriots must feel confident in their receiving group.

On Saturday, the organization released receiver Josh Boyce, according to a report from Boyce was a fourth-round draft pick in 2013.

This offseason, the Patriots brought in Brandon LaFell from Carolina and are looking forward to a healthy Rob Gronkowski to a bigger factor in the passing game. The receiving group also includes Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins.

Boyce does have practice squad eligibility if he clears waivers.

Follow me on Twitter: @JasonHButt