Mike Florio talks with Tom Curran of CSN New England about Rob Gronkowski’s broken forearm and how it will affect the Patriots going forward during their playoff hunt. They discuss the judgment surrounding the decision to put Gronk on the field for an extra point when the Patriots were already winning big and how much the Patriots will miss their monstrous tight end.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: How much will the Pats miss Gronk?
They’ve found that agreement. Brown has shared a picture on Twitter captioned “Steelers for life” with what looks like a contract in agent Drew Rosenhaus’ hand. The Steelers announced that it is a five-year deal.
PFT has learned, via a league source, that it is a four-year extension to Brown’s current deal that is worth up to $68 million. He’ll make $17 million a year over those four years and $18.5 million a year over the first three years, which is more than Calvin Johnson received in his last deal with the Lions and more than any other wideout in the league is making on their current deals.
Brown’s spot at the top of the list of best-paid receivers isn’t surprising given how much he has produced for the Steelers. He’s caught at least 106 passes for 1,284 yards in each of the last four seasons while catching 43 touchdowns.
The Steelers have other irons in the fire — they used the franchise tag on running back Le’Veon Bell Monday — but that didn’t stop them from locking up their best receiver well ahead of the end of his current contract.
The official announcement doesn’t specify whether the franchise tag that the Steelers placed on running back Le’Veon Bell is exclusive or non-exclusive. PFT has confirmed that it’s the exclusive tag.
As explained last week, the exclusive version of the tag will cost no more than the non-exclusive version, given the formula used for determining the amounts. The non-exclusive tag is derived from a five-year average salary-cap percentage consumed by the non-exclusive tag at the position; the exclusive tag will be driven by the average of the five highest cap numbers at the position for 2017.
Even with Adrian Peterson’s $18 million cap number for 2017, the average of the five top running back salary cap number falls far below the 7.257-percent chunk of the total cap (between $166 million to $169 million) that applies to the running back position.
So if it’s going to cost more than $12 million with or without exclusivity, why not remove from the equation the possibility of Bell meeting with other teams? As it stands, he remains bound to the Steelers, either at a one-year contract in excess of $12 million or a long-term deal, if one can be negotiated by July 15.
Two years ago, the Giants applied the franchise tag to defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. They’ve done it again.
Per a league source, the Giants have slapped the franchise tag onto a player who recovered from a fireworks mishaps that disfigured his right hand to have a very strong 2016 season.
It’s the non-exclusive tag, and it entitles Pierre-Paul to a one-year tender worth 10.14 percent of the total salary cap. At $166 million (the number isn’t finalized yet), that would be $16.83 million.
Last year, Pierre-Paul signed a one-year deal to stay with the Giants. He has said he now wants a multi-year deal. He’ll have until July 15 to negotiate one with the Giants. In theory, he also could negotiate one with another team — if that team is willing to give up two first-round picks, in the event the Giants choose not to match it.
Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has gone from a little-known sixth-round pick out of Montreal’s McGill University in 2014 to a starter in Kansas City the last two years. And now he’s about to get paid like not just a starter, but one of the best in the league.
Duvernay-Tardif and the Chiefs are finalizing a five-year contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. The value of the extension is reportedly $41.25 million, but there’s no word on the structure of the contract or how much of that is guaranteed.
The 26-year-old Duvernay-Tardif is currently slated to make a $690,000 base salary in 2017.
Duvernay-Tardif studies medicine in the offseasons and plans to become a doctor when he retires. This deal should ensure that he won’t be hurting for money when it’s time for him to go into medicine.
The 49ers signed a pair of outside free agents in recent days with cornerback K’Waun Williams and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell representing a bigger dip into the market than they took all of last season.
We’ll see if new General Manager John Lynch keeps that up when the new league year opens on March 9, but the 49ers have taken a brief break from bringing in new faces to make sure they hold onto a couple of players from the 2016 roster. The 49ers announced on Monday that they have extended exclusive rights free agent tenders to linebacker Carl Bradford and nose tackle Mike Purcell.
Exclusive rights free agents are ineligible to jump to another team once their current team extends a tender, so Bradford and Purcell will both be in the mix for roster spots unless they opt to stop playing altogether.
Bradford was a fourth-round pick by the Packers in 2014 and played two games with the Niners after being claimed on waivers last year. Purcell first signed with the 49ers as an undrafted rookie in 2013 and made his regular season debut the next year. He had 26 tackles and a forced fumble in 15 games last season.
The Steelers weren’t expected to let running back Le’Veon Bell hit the open market when the new league year gets underway next month so it comes as no surprise that he’s the latest player to receive a franchise tag.
The Steelers have placed a franchise tag on Bell and, per multiple reports, it is the exclusive variety. That gives them until July 15 to work out a long-term contract before Bell would be left with the choice of playing out the year on the franchise tender, working out a different one-year deal or sitting out.
The franchise tender for Bell should come in at somewhere over $12.3 million. Because the Steelers went the exclusive route, Bell cannot be signed by another team even if they were willing to pony up the required two first-round picks as compensation.
Bell’s always been productive when he’s been on the field for the Steelers since they made him the 48th pick of the 2013 draft. Injuries and suspensions have kept him off the field at times over that span and those absences could create some concern on the team’s end about an extended deal.
Freeney said he wanted “to take all that emotion out and make that decision when it comes” rather than doing something fueled by the result of the game. It’s been a few weeks since that game ended with the Patriots storming back for the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history and it seems that’s been enough time for Freeney to make up his mind.
Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports that Freeney has decided that he wants to play a 16th season. His contract with the Falcons came to an end after the Super Bowl, so Freeney is set to become a free agent on March 9.
Freeney had three sacks in 15 games for the Falcons in the regular season and had another one in the Super Bowl.
But Chiefs owner Clark Hunt seems to be just fine sticking with Alex Smith under center.
According to Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star, Hunt said he was on board with coach Andy Reid, and that they were comfortable moving forward with Smith.
“I would just reiterate what Andy has said several times throughout the offseason, which is he’s very happy with Alex and Alex is going to be our starter going into 2017,” Hunt said.
There’s a growing perception that the Chiefs have gone as far as Smith can take them, much in the way the 49ers had when they replaced him with Colin Kaepernick (which seems like forever ago).
At the same time, plenty can go wrong with any plan at quarterback if it centers on Romo, as the Cowboys found out two years ago before Dak Prescott bailed them out last season.
Smith has some clear faults, but he’s also efficient and smart and the Chiefs have gone 41-20 with him as the starter the last four years. While it’s tempting to dream of an upgrade, someone who is more of a threat downfield, the Chiefs apparently aren’t prepared to do anything rash to replace him.
The cap-rich, talent-starved Browns apparently will assume the risk that receiver Terrelle Pryor will leave via free agency.
Via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the team hasn’t changed its position that the franchise tag won’t be applied to Pryor. This year, the receiver version of the tag will consume 9.39 percent of the total salary cap. At the low end of the currently-expected range of $166 million, that’s $15.58 million.
Pryor, drafted six years ago as a quarterback, converted to receiver after all of his options at his initial position dried up. He caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns in his first full season as a receiver.
The Browns have until 4:00 p.m. ET to decide whether to tag Pryor. The transition tag also is available, at 7.939 percent of the cap ($13.1 million); it would give the Browns a right to match but no compensation if he leaves.
The Colts are expected to continue looking for ways to improve their offensive line play this offseason and they’ve added another player to the mix ahead of the start of free agency.
The team announced Monday that they have signed tackle Fahn Cooper to their 90-man roster.
Cooper was a fifth-round pick by the 49ers last season and failed to make the team out of the summer. He was re-signed to the practice squad and remained there all season, but did not sign on again with the 49ers following the end of the regular season.
Cooper started 26 games at Ole Miss. Most of his time was at right tackle, but he saw time on the left side when Dolphins first-round pick Laremy Tunsil was serving a suspension.
The Panthers continued the sudden trend of #asexpected applications of the franchise tag, putting it on defensive tackle Kawann Short.
They have until July 15 to do a long-term deal with Short, but they’ve been working on that for over a year.
The difference in opinion on his value could make it an interesting negotiation.
Short had 6.0 sacks last season, still good but well off the 11.0 he had in 2015, when it became apparent he was going to get very rich.
Now we just have to see if things proceed amicably, unlike last year when they yanked the tag from cornerback Josh Norman, allowing him to go to Washington.
Before the spending begins, let the arguing begin.
The annual PFT Hot 100 Free Agents list has been posted. We know most of the top players — starting with No. 1 Le’Veon Bell — won’t be allowed to come near the open market, but we still ranked them among players at all positions who stand to get paid, handsomely, sometime in the next couple of weeks.
The list includes all sorts of players, young and old, who figure to make a bunch of money if they actually hit the open market next week. Because a lot can and will change between now and then and then certainly throughout March when the market actually opens, we’ll update the list as teams pass on contract options and roster bonuses and release other players to make way for their new and expensive acquisitions.
The status of each player will be noted as he receives a tag, signs an offer sheet or signs a contract, and the ranking order can change as more players become free when the movement begins. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea to bookmark the list for reference or even for argument’s sake.
The Tim Tebow One-Man Fantasy Camp continues.
Via HardBallTalk.com, the former NFL quarterback and would-be baseball player has arrived at New York Mets training camp. He received a non-roster invitation, and he’ll be around long enough to move merchandise and otherwise demonstrate that he’ll only play in the Majors if they expand the National League and American League dramatically.
The development comes nearly five years after the New York Jets traded for Tebow, after the Peyton Manning acquisition made Tebow expendable in Denver. He barely played in 2012 for the Jets, and he never made it to another team’s regular-season roster after that.
And while we’ve got no issue with a guy pursuing a dream, Tebow’s baseball ability and age demonstrate that it’s not a realistic dream. But if he can make a little money and the Mets can too, what’s the harm in it?
So meet the Mets. Meet the Mets. Step right up, and greet the Mets. Bring your kiddies. Bring your wife. Guaranteed to have the time of your life. Because the Mets are really sockin’ the ball, and running smack dab into a wall. Or something.
The Patriots have filled a vacancy on their coaching staff from within.
The team announced it had promoted Nick Caley to tight ends coach. He had been a coaching assistant the last two years, after working a number of college jobs on the defensive side of the ball.
He has the right pedigree, having graduated from and coached at John Carroll (it’s practically the Rutgers of their coaching staff).
That’s the alma mater of Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, director of player personnel Nick Caserio (‘99) and others on staff. Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco and Jaguars G.M. Dave Caldwell also graduated from the Division III school in Ohio, along with Bill Polian’s sons Chris and Brian.
He replaces Brian Daboll, who left to become offensive coordinator at Alabama.
The following are PFT’s top 100 free agents for the start of the 2017 league year. The rankings include prospective unrestricted and restricted free agents, as well as released players. Players expected to be released won’t be added until the transaction is official, and the list will be updated as events warrant, with signings, tags and re-signings denoted when announced and/or reported.
2. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins
3. Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram
5. Chiefs safety Eric Berry
8. Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye
9. Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower
10. Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell
11. Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler
12. Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery
13. Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson
14. Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson
15. Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams
16. Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore
17. Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson
18. Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor
19. Packers guard T.J. Lang
20. Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth
21. Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons
22. Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe
23. Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry
24. Ravens offensive tackle Rick Wagner
25. Cowboys guard Ronald Leary
26. Lions guard Larry Warford
27. Patriots safety Duron Harmon
28. Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan
29. Washington defensive end Chris Baker
30. Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett
31. Jaguars cornerback Prince Amukamara
32. Lions offensive tackle Riley Reiff
33. Packers safety Micah Hyde
34. Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills
35. Patriots outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard
36. Packers offensive lineman J.C. Tretter
37. Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon
38. Cardinals safety D.J. Swearinger
39. Cowboys safety Barry Church
40. Broncos offensive tackle Russell Okung
41. Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne
42. Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick
43. Cardinals linebacker Kevin Minter
44. Texans outside linebacker John Simon
45. Eagles defensive tackle Bennie Logan
46. Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley
47. Bills linebacker Zach Brown
48. Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins
49. Washington wide receiver Pierre Garcon
50. Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso (restricted)
51. Jets offensive tackle Ryan Clady
52. Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware
53. Jaguars safety Jonathan Cyprien
54. Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer
55. Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander
56. Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn
57. Raiders running back Latavius Murray
58. Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson
59. 49ers linebacker Gerald Hodges
60. Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch
61. Jaguars offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum
62. Browns running back Isaiah Crowell (restricted)
63. Packers running back Eddie Lacy
64. Rams safety T.J. McDonald
65. Colts tight end Jack Doyle
66. Eagles offensive lineman Stefen Wisnieswki
67. Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison
68. Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk
69. Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones
70. Packers tight end Jared Cook
71. Buccaneers safety Bradley McDougald
72. Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (restricted)
73. Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt
74. Ex-Buccaneers cornerback Alterraun Verner
75. Rams defensive tackle Dominique Easley (restricted)
76. Cowboys defensive end Jack Crawford
77. Titans tight end Anthony Fasano
78. Washington center John Sullivan
79. Colts outside linebacker Erik Walden
80. Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson
81. Dolphins tight end Dion Sims
82. Packers outside linebacker Julius Peppers
83. Cowboys safety J.J. Wilcox
84. Texans tight end Ryan Griffin
85. Seahawks linebacker Michael Morgan
86. Ex-Jets center Nick Mangold
87. Vikings offensive tackle Andre Smith
88. Browns offensive lineman Austin Pasztor
89. Ravens defensive end Lawrence Guy
90. Raiders outside linebacker Perry Riley
91. Ex-Jaguars defensive tackle Jared Odrick
92. Chargers safety Jahleel Addae
93. Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr
94. Buccaneers center Joe Hawley
95. Packers outside linebacker Datone Jones
96. Seahawks tight end Luke Willson
97. Packers outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott (restricted)
98. Ravens running back Terrance West (restricted)
99. Colts safety Mike Adams
100. Ravens wide receiver Kamar Aiken