Dolphins Use Franchise Tag on Receiver Landry – The Miami Dolphins have decided to use their non-exclusive franchise tag on wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
The team tweeted the announcement Tuesday, the first day teams can use their franchise or transition tags. The salary for wide receivers getting the franchise tag this offseason is expected to be around $16.2 million, which will be quite the raise for Landry, who made $894,000 last season. The tag will hold Landry in place while the Dolphins try to make progress on a long-term deal. Because the team is using its non-exclusive tag, Landry is free to sign an offer sheet with another team. Should the Dolphins choose not to match an offer sheet for Landry, they would be due two first-round draft picks from Landry’s new team.
Luck: ‘Ship has sailed’ On 2nd Shoulder Surgery – Colts quarterback Andrew Luck says the thought of having a second surgery on his right shoulder has “sailed.” Luck, who is continuing his rehabilitation on his surgically repaired right shoulder, did not attend a Town Hall event held by the Colts on Tuesday. However, he did a pre-recorded video interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who emceed the event, and it was aired for the audience. “Oh, [surgery] is not an option for me right now,” Luck said. “I feel very, very good about where I am. So that ship has sailed in my mind, which is also a bit of a relief. I’m not going to lie.” New Colts coach Frank Reich said he’s “hopeful” that Luck will be back once the team starts offseason workouts in April.
Bears Release Twice-Banned Freeman – The Chicago Bears have released linebacker Jerrell Freeman, a source told ESPN. Freeman, 31, was suspended 10 games last season for a second violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Bears placed Freeman on injured reserve in Week 2 after the veteran tore a pectoral muscle in the season opener versus Atlanta. Freeman suggested that the concussion he suffered in the Falcons game contributed to the latest suspension. Freeman, voted a team captain before Week 1, missed four games in 2016 for his first violation of the PED policy but still finished with a team-high 110 tackles.
- Philadelphia Flyers 7 – New York Rangers 4
- Edmonton Oilers 4 – Colorado Avalanche 2
- New Jersey Devils 3 – Carolina Hurricanes 2
- Pittsburgh Penguins 5 – Columbus Blue Jackets 2
- Toronto Maple Leafs 3 – Detroit Red Wings 2
- Florida Panthers 2 – Winnipeg Jets 7
- Dallas Stars 2 – San Jose Sharks 5
Fitzgerald Will Be Back With Cardinals For 2018 – Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has decided to continue his Hall of Fame-worthy career and play his 15th season in 2018. New Cardinals coach Steve Wilks announced Fitzgerald’s intentions during an interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Thursday morning. Fitzgerald’s future has been the topic of speculation since last offseason, when he didn’t outright address whether 2017 would be his final year in the league. The questions concerning Fitzgerald’s future ramped up in the days following the Cardinals’ 8-8 season, when former coach Bruce Arians retired on Jan. 1 and quarterback Carson Palmer also retired a day later.
Raiders Cut Ties With Janikowski – Speculation on Sebastian Janikowski re-signing with the Oakland Raiders and reuniting with coach Jon Gruden was quelled Wednesday as the team told the veteran left-footed place-kicker that it does not plan to bring him back for the 2018 season, a source told ESPN. Janikowski, the Raiders’ all-time leading scorer with 1,799 points (11th in NFL history), spent last season on injured reserve, and his locker was cleaned out by midseason. He will turn 40 on March 2 and will be an unrestricted free agent.
League Reinstates Redskins’ Cravens – The NFL has reinstated Washington Redskins safety Su’a Cravens off the reserve/left squad list, a league source told ESPN. Washington had placed Cravens on the exempt/left squad list on Sept. 3 after the second-year player said he wanted to retire. Cravens was dealing with family issues at the time. On Sept. 18, the team placed Cravens on the reserve/left squad list, which meant he had to sit out the season. In December, his agent said in a statement that Cravens had been cleared to resume football activities after suffering from post-concussion syndrome; he suffered a concussion in Week 4 of the 2016 season. Whether or not he returns to Washington for the 2018 season remains a question.
Manziel to Attempt Comeback at Spring League – Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will participate in the developmental Spring League this year as part of his attempt to return to the NFL. The Spring League announced Wednesday that Manziel has signed a deal to play in the Elite D-League, which runs in Austin, Texas, from March 28 through April 15. “We believe our platform is the ideal forum for Mr. Manziel to enact his NFL comeback,” league CEO Brian Woods said in a statement. Manziel, who told ABC News on Monday that he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, acknowledged in a statement that he has “made my share of mistakes” but said he is thankful for the opportunity to play in the Spring League.
Chiefs Won’t Re-Sign Longtime Star LB Johnson – The Kansas City Chiefs announced Tuesday that they do not plan to re-sign linebacker Derrick Johnson. Johnson will be a free agent when the new league year begins on March 14 and he said in the Chiefs’ statement Tuesday he plans “on playing for several more years.” Johnson lost some of his playing time last season after the Chiefs acquired two younger inside linebackers, Reggie Ragland and Kevin Pierre-Louis. Johnson, 35, was the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick in 2005. He was the longest-tenured Chiefs player along with punter Dustin Colquitt, who arrived in the same draft two rounds later.