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Free agent OLB/DE Mario Williams insists becoming the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history is "really not that big of a deal" to him.

"I'm not worried about that," Williams said. "I was the first pick, and I've already had everything I really wanted, so my biggest thing is to be in a good position, a good scheme, a good system." Williams' hope is that the Texans will make him an offer rich enough to stay in Houston. "I love it here. The team is right where it needs to be," said Williams. "The pieces fit, but it's part of business. Whatever happens, happens." Williams says he's been 100 percent recovered from his torn pectoral for two weeks.
Thu, Feb 16, 2012 05:42:00 PM

Steelers signed WR Antonio Brown to a four-year, $68 million extension through 2021.

The extension will pay Brown $17 million annually and makes him the NFL's highest-paid wide receiver, passing A.J. Green's $15 million average. The top wideout of his generation -- and arguably the best we've seen since Randy Moss -- Brown has 100-plus catches in four straight years and double-digit TDs in three straight. Brown turns 29 in July. Because his game relies on route running and not elite athleticism, Brown should age well into his 30s.
Feb 27 - 5:25 PM

Giants assigned the franchise tag to DE Jason Pierre-Paul.

Particularly with their quarterback aging and in steep decline, letting one of the NFL's premier defensive linemen get away should never have been a consideration for the Giants. They'll likely need to lean on their defense to continue to stay competitive moving forward. A complete defensive end, JPP doubles as an elite edge-setting run defender in addition to his pass-rush prowess. He racked up seven sacks and three forced fumbles in 12 games last season, missing the final four and playoffs with a sports hernia. As the defensive end tag costs a whopping $17 million, the Giants are expected to work aggressively to lock up 28-year-old Pierre-Paul long term to reduce his initial cap number.
Feb 27 - 4:47 PM

Chiefs signed RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to a five-year, $41.25 million extension through 2022.

The deal includes $20 million guaranteed. In average annual value ($8.25 million), Duvernay-Tardif's extension makes him the NFL's fourth-highest-paid guard behind Kelechi Osemele, David DeCastro, and Kyle Long. A 2014 sixth-round pick out of McGill College in Canada, Duvernay-Tardif has settled in as a solid-if-spectacular starting right guard in Kansas City. "LDT," as he is nicknamed, earned solid pass-protection grades from Pro Football Focus last year, but struggled in the run game. He turned 26 earlier this month.
Feb 27 - 4:32 PM

Steelers assigned the exclusive-rights franchise tag to RB Le'Veon Bell.

He joins Panthers DT Kawann Short and Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones as 2017's first three franchise-tag wearers. The "exclusive" tag locks Bell into a top-five running back salary ($12 million-plus) and prohibits other teams from negotiating with him. The Steelers plan to lock up Antonio Brown to a long-term deal and let Bell sport the tag, potentially for the entirety of the forthcoming season. Extending Bell isn't a priority after he battled foot and knee injuries his first three years in the league, and served two short suspensions. Still only 25 years old, Bell has averaged 4.88 yards per carry and 143.1 yards from scrimmage per game over the past two seasons. He's neck and neck with David Johnson as the top running back in football, and we'd give the slight edge to Bell.
Feb 27 - 3:54 PM

104.3 The Fan in Denver's Cecil Lammey reports C.J. Anderson is expected to be cleared from his meniscus tear in two weeks.

Anderson originally expected to be cleared by the end of February, but he isn't known to have encountered any setbacks, and there was nothing to gain by rushing back so early in the offseason. Still only 26, Anderson will be learning a new offense under OC Mike McCoy, who is expected to install more power-blocking concepts. Anderson remains the favorite to start over Devontae Booker.
Feb 27 - 3:51 PM

Free agent SS Eric Berry maintains he'll sit out the 2017 season if forced to play under the franchise tag.

"No I haven’t," was Berry's response when asked if he's changed his mind. "I still stand firm on that." Berry is fully expected to be tagged before Wednesday's deadline, giving the sides 4.5 months to work out a long-term contract.
Feb 27 - 3:16 PM

The Cleveland Plain Dealer confirms the Browns will not franchise tag free agent Terrelle Pryor.

The Browns have 48 hours to make a decision, but it appears they already have. The MMQB's Albert Breer first reported nine days ago that Pryor wouldn't be franchised. Pryor is reportedly seeking $10-$11 million annually in long-term talks. At least publicly, he's saying he wants to stay in Cleveland.
Feb 27 - 3:11 PM

The Dallas Morning News expects the Cowboys to release Tony Romo "likely within the next two weeks."

Romo can't officially be dealt until the start of the new league year on March 9, but the Cowboys will have an excellent idea of his trade market by then. If it doesn't exist, he will be cut loose. Most reports have had the Cowboys planning to "do right" by their longtime signal caller, a courtesy he's certainly earned. Cutting him, and allowing him to pick his own new team, would be right.
Feb 27 - 3:08 PM

Panthers assigned the franchise tag to DT Kawann Short.

It's a move the Panthers admitted was all but inevitable earlier this month. Short's non-exclusive tag is worth approximately $14.77 million. One of the league's very best interior linemen, Short would have been the subject of an intense bidding war on the open market. He's rumored to be seeking $17-$19 million per season in long-term talks. Short turned 28 on Feb. 2. With Star Lotulelei's contract up after 2017 and 2016 first-rounder Vernon Butler on the rise, Short could have only one year left in Carolina.
Feb 27 - 1:58 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Rams will likely use the franchise tag on free agent CB Trumaine Johnson.

The Rams were originally expected to let Johnson test the open market after his play fell off a bit in 2016, but have apparently decided they can't let their No. 1 cornerback walk for the second year in a row. The new coaching staff will expect Johnson to take a step forward under defensive maestro Wade Phillips.
Feb 27 - 1:09 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports free agent OLB Melvin Ingram is expected to be franchise tagged by the Chargers.

Coming off another strong season, Ingram is flying a bit under the radar in the national media, but that won't be the case with teams. The Bolts understand this, making tagging the 28-year-old (in April) pass rusher a bit of a no-brainer. The deadline to apply the tag is Wednesday.
Feb 27 - 1:08 PM




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