Auckland-born American football player Stephen Paea has signed with the NFL's Cleveland Browns a week after being released by the Washington Redskins.

Paea was cut by the Redskins on Thursday after signing a four year US$21 million dollar deal last year. The 28-year-old defensive end found himself buried on the team's depth chart and struggled with injuries during his tenure in Washington.

He played in 11 games with the Redskins last season, where he recorded 19 tackles and 1.5 sacks before finishing the season on injured reserve.

Paea began his career with the Chicago Bears after being drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Paea spent his first four seasons with the Bears.

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At the NFL Combine, Paea recorded a record-setting 49 repetitions in the 225-pound (102kg) bench press.