Steelers Tag Bell…Panthers, Cardinals, Chargers and Giants Also Make Tag Moves
UNDATED (AP) — The Steelers have put the exclusive franchise tag on All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell. The team says it wants to make the 25-year-old a part of the organization "for life", and this gives both sides time to work out a long-term deal.
Bell could have become a free agent next month. He led the NFL in average yards from scrimmage last season and became the first player in NFL history to average at least 100 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving per game.
The Steelers have until July 15 to reach an agreement with Bell on a new contract. If not, he will make the average salary of the top five running backs in the league in 2017.
— Carolina's Panthers have re-signed defensive end Wes Horton to a two-year contract. The move came less than a day after the Panthers re-signed defensive end Mario Addison to a three-year contract. The 27-year-old Horton started 10 games last season and had 11 tackles with 2 ½ sacks. Horton, who has started 27 games since joining the Panthers in 2013 as an undrafted rookie, has 8 ½ career sacks.
— The Panthers have also applied the non-exclusive franchise tag to defensive tackle Kawann Short. If he signs the one-year tender Short would make an estimated $14.77 million. A four-year NFL veteran, Short has 17 sacks in the past two seasons, third-most among NFL defensive tackles.
— The Los Angeles Chargers placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on outside linebacker Melvin Ingram. Ingram is a pass-rushing dynamo with 18½ sacks over the past two seasons.
— The Arizona Cardinals have placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on outside linebacker Chandler Jones after failing to reach a long-term deal with him. The non-exclusive tag allows the Cardinals to continue negotiating with Jones through July 15. If another team makes him an offer, Arizona can either match it or receive two first-round draft picks.
— A person with knowledge of the details said the New York Giants have told defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul that he, too, will get the franchise tag. The person with direct knowledge of the move spoke on condition of anonymity because the Giants didn't announce the decision. The Giants have to designate Pierre-Paul a franchise player by 4 p.m. (Eastern time) on Wednesday. He will earn roughly $17 million this season unless the team reaches a long-term agreement by July 15.
— The Cleveland Browns have released wide receiver Andrew Hawkins after three seasons. He had 33 catches for 324 yards and three touchdowns last season for the 1-15 Browns.