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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:44 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:42 am
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Le’Veon Bell keeps saying he wants to stay with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers keep saying they want to keep one of the NFL’s best running backs in the fold for years to come.

They have until July 16 to make it happen.

The Steelers placed the exclusive rights franchise tag on the two time All Pro for a second straight spring on Tuesday, putting Bell’s long term status with the club up in the air.

Bell ... -c-17.html, a two time All Pro, accounted for 1,946 total yards and 11 touchdowns for the AFC North champions in 2017. Both Bell and Steelers management said after the season they hoped to get a contract extension done quickly, but failed to do so by Tuesday’s deadline for teams to use the franchise tag.

Bell is scheduled to make 14.54 million in 2018 if he signs the franchise tender and the two sides are unable to reach an agreement on a new deal. He skipped offseason workouts and training camp last summer before signing the tender on the eve of the regular season.

Also getting franchise tags were Miami wide receiver Jarvis Landry ... -c-18.html, Detroit defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, Dallas DE DeMarcus Lawrence, and Los Angeles Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner. They can talk with other teams, but their current team would get compensation if they leave.

The only player given the transition tag was Chicago cornerback Kyle Fuller.

Free agency begins on March 14.

Cousins set to be free agent • Kirk Cousins’ time with the Washington Redskins is all but over after they chose not to use the franchise tag on the quarterback as expected.

The Redskins have agreed to acquire Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs, effectively pushing Cousins into free agency following a tumultuous six years with the club that drafted him. Cousins will be the top free agent available when the league year opens in mid March and should have no shortage of suitors.

The 29 year old Cousins is coming off his third consecutive 4,000 yard passing season. In his time as a full time NFL starter, he has completed 67 percent of his passes for 81 touchdowns, 36 interceptions and a 97.5 QB rating.

Salary cap goes up • The NFL’s salary cap will be 177.2 million, more than 10 million above last season. Teams must be below that figure when the league season begins on March 14.

While the cap went up from 167 million Chris Boswell Jersey, it did not surge the way it did the previous year, increasing by nearly 12 million.

Ivory agrees to deal with Bills • Running back Chris Ivory has agreed to sign a two year contract with the Buffalo Bills ... -c-19.html, where the eighth year player will have an opportunity to serve as LeSean McCoy’s primary backup.

Ivory, 29, agreed to the deal on Tuesday, two weeks after being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ivory finished with just 382 yards rushing and a touchdown and was inactive for four of the Jaguars’ final five games. He lasted just two seasons with Jacksonville after signing a five year, 32 million contract.

Ravens sign Urban • The Baltimore Ravens have signed defensive end Brent Urban to a one year contract, less than two weeks before he was slated to become an unrestricted free agent.

Urban’s four years with Baltimore have been marked by injuries. He’s played in just 25 games, and was healthy for an entire season only in 2016.

After being selected out of Virginia in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, Urban spent his rookie season on injured reserve after hurting his knee in training camp.

Urban played in only six games in 2015 because of a biceps injury. After appearing in 16 games in 2016, he made his first three NFL starts in 2017 before a foot injury ended his season in September.

Gano gets four year deal • Carolina signed Pro Bowl kicker Graham Gano to a four year contract extension. The deal is worth 17 million overall with 9 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the situation said.

The 30 year old Gano is coming off his best NFL season, converting all 29 field goals from inside of 50 yards and 29 of 30 overall. He made 34 of 37 extra points.

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