Le'Veon Bell and other prime franchise tag candidates in NFL offseason

Jay Asser 22/02/2018
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Le'Veon Bell could potentially be franchise tagged for the second straight year.

We’re still weeks away from the NFL’s free agency period kicking off, but the window for franchise tagging players is now open.

Team have until March 6 to place franchise/transition tags on players, before free agency begins on March 14. Keep in mind, players who get tagged can still negotiate long-term deals until July 15.

Here, we take a look at five key players who are franchise-tag candidates, beginning with one of the best skill players in the game.

Le’Veon Bell

The Pittsburgh Steelers running back has gone on the record as saying he would consider sitting out a year or even retirement if he’s franchise tagged for a second consecutive year.

As arguably the top dual-threat back in the league, Bell knows his value and how much he means to the Steelers’ offence. Pittsburgh may not want to hand out a massive contract, but do they want to call Bell’s bluff? It’s in the best interest of both sides to get a long-term deal done.

Case Keenum

From journeyman quarterback to playoff hero, Keenum’s value skyrocketed over the course of this past season. Now, the Minnesota Vikings have a decision on their hands on how they want to approach their quarterback situation.

If the Vikings aren’t completely sold on Keenum being their long-term solution, the franchise tag would make sense to put him in a position where he has to prove it again. However, they could get a more favourable deal if Keenum hits the open market and doesn’t command the same type of money the franchise tag would bestow (around $22 million), but that has its own inherent risks.

Keenum

DeMarcus Lawrence

The defensive end is coming off a monster year in which he recorded 14.5 sacks. But because he totaled 9.0 sacks in his previous three seasons, the Dallas Cowboys would be justified in tagging the 25-year-old to see if his career-year was a fluke or not.

Dallas won’t be in a rush to use the tag though, with a long-term deal where both parties meet in the middle the ideal resolution. Lawrence is young and on the rise, and the Cowboys have a propensity to re-sign their own guys.

Lawrence

Allen Robinson

Robinson’s is a curious case because the wide receiver missed nearly the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL in a contract year. As such, Jacksonville may have an opportunity to re-sign Robinson at a discount, but that’s only if other teams don’t jump at paying a premium in free agency.

Letting him walk would be a blow to the Jaguars’ offence as he’s easily their top receiving target and a someone who stretches the field. If Jacksonville don’t franchise tag him, they could offer Robinson a short-term deal lined with incentives.

Robinson

Ezekiel Ansah

Two years ago, it looked like Ansah was primed to have a long career as one of the best pass rushers in the league. But constant injuries have knocked him down since, meaning it’s no safe bet for the Lions to ink him to a long-term deal.

Still, 12.0 sacks this past season is production Detroit wants back as there’s not much pass rush talent on the roster otherwise. Tagging Ansah seems like the most sensible option at this point to see if he can put together a fully healthy campaign.

Ansah

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Philadelphia Eagles fans swoop on city during Super Bowl victory parade

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Hundreds of thousands of Philadelphia Eagles fans flooded the streets of the city on Thursday to salute the NFL team’s upset Super Bowl victory over the heavily favored New England Patriots.

The ticker-tape parade began shortly after 11:00 (20:00 UAE) as masses of green-clad Eagles fans packed the City of Brotherly Love to cheer on their heroes despite freezing temperatures on an otherwise sunny day.

The underdog Eagles had never won a Super Bowl but covered themselves in glory by defeating the Patriots, 41-33.

Led by bikers, trucks and open-topped, double-decker buses carrying the players, the parade set off from the city’s south side and was to make its way up Broad Street to the city centre, the cradle of US independence.

The 4.8-mile (7km) parade route goes past the city hall before ending at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a landmark made famous by the movie “Rocky.”

Tons of confetti showered down on the players, including MVP quarterback Nick Foles and coach Doug Pederson, the heroes of the hour.

Philadelphia Eagles fans

Cheerleaders and the team’s eagle-headed mascot “Swoop” hurled Eagles T-shirts into the crowds, which had formed overnight.

Some players mixed with the cheering crowd. Fans cried and danced and gave the thumbs-up as the team passed by.

A video posted on Twitter showed dozens of young people dancing atop a garbage truck stopped at an intersection on Broad Street.

After Sunday’s epic victory, thousands of people poured into the city’s streets to rejoice, but the celebration was marred by violence, with vehicles overturned and windows smashed despite a heavy police presence.

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How the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots at Super Bowl LII

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Doug Pederson and Nick Foles celebrate

In one of the greatest ever Super Bowls, underdogs Philadelphia Eagles were able to defeat New England Patriots 41-33 to claim their first ever championship.

But just how were they able to do it?

Sport360’s Chris Bailey and Jay Asser breakdown the key moments from a memorable game, in which back-up quarterback Nick Foles produced an MVP performance.









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