Kirk Cousins will be the first quarterback in NFL history to play consecutive seasons on the franchise tag.
Cousins and the Washington Redskins didn’t sign a long-term deal by the deadline. He will make $23.94 million on the franchise tag in 2017 after earning $19.95 million last year.
Team president Bruce Allen said in a prepared statement that the Redskins’ goal was to sign Cousins to a long-term contract and offered him $53 million guaranteed or $72 million in the event of injury. That would have been the second-most fully guaranteed money given to a QB behind Aaron Rodgers’ $54 million.
”Despite our repeated attempts, we have not received any offer from Kirk’s agent this year,” Allen said. ”Kirk has made it clear that he prefers to play on a year-to-year basis. While we would have liked to work out a long-term contract before this season, we accept his decision.”
Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney, declined an interview request made before Allen issued his statement. Allen said the team’s offer was made May 2 and that he met with Cousins face to face over the weekend.
The 28-year-old Michigan State product is going into his third full season as Washington’s starter. Cousins set franchise records with 4,166 and 4,917 yards the past two seasons, but has yet to win a playoff game.
PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers and star running back Le’Veon Bell failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract, meaning Bell will play on a one-year tender this season.
Pittsburgh placed the franchise tag on Bell in March and had until Monday afternoon to work out a new deal. Bell instead will make $12.1 million this season, the average of the five highest-paid running backs in the league.
Bell could become an unrestricted free agent next spring or the Steelers could place the franchise tag on him a second time. General manager Kevin Colbert says the team will ”resume its efforts” to re-sign Bell next offseason.
The 25-year-old Bell ran for 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns and caught another 75 passes in 12 games for Pittsburgh in 2016.
DAILY FANTASY SPORTS
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey’s first casino has become the first in Atlantic City to let patrons play daily fantasy sports contests for money.
Resorts Casino Hotel launched FastPick, a daily fantasy sports game in which customers choose head-to-head player matchups of real-world athletes. If the customer’s slate of picks outperforms those assigned to the casino, the customer wins.
For example, a customer can choose whether New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady or Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers will have a better statistical day playing football on a given Sunday.
The move marks the expansion of daily fantasy sports into a new casino market. But even as the activity has taken off across the country and abroad online, it has been rather slow to catch on at casinos in the U.S. Steve Doty, a spokesman for the American Gaming Association, the casino industry’s national trade group, said the group does not know of casinos outside Nevada that offer daily fantasy sports games for money.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Starling Marte insists he still isn’t sure exactly how the illegal steroid that cost the Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder an 80-game suspension got into his system. All set to return Tuesday night, he stressed he did not inject himself with Nandrolone but understands he was ”careless” while spending last offseason in his native Dominican Republic.
”That’s something I regret, not being careful enough,” Marte said through translator Mike Gonzalez in the final hours before his forced half-season sabbatical ends.
The 28-year-old, a two-time Gold Glove winner and one-time All-Star, apologized to his teammates in the minutes after his suspension was handed down on April 18. He offered a broader one to the organization and the fan base, well aware his misstep could follow him for the remainder of his career.
The Pirates went 39-41 during Marte’s absence and are 45-48 overall, staying on the fringe of an underwhelming NL Central race while using a patched together lineup that forced manager Clint Hurdle to get creative. John Jaso, Adam Frazier and Jose Osuna – all infielders by trade – have found themselves in the outfield at various times, with mixed results. Hurdle plans to pencil Marte’s No. 6 in the lineup on Tuesday and see where it goes.
BOSTON (AP) – Paul Pierce is retiring as a member of the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics announced they have signed Pierce to a contract so the 10-time All-Star can retire with the team where he spent his first 15 seasons in the NBA.
Pierce helped bring Boston a championship in 2008 as part the ”Big Three” of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Pierce previously said that last season would be his final one in the NBA.
Drafted by Boston as the 10th overall pick in 1998, Pierce started a 15-season run that is behind only John Havlicek’s 16 seasons for the most played in a Celtics uniform.
Celtics manager partner Wyc Grousbeck said the franchise was ”honored” that Pierce had chosen to retire as a Celtic.
HOUSTON (AP) – The Houston Rockets are going up for sale.
Rockets CEO Tad Brown made the announcement hours after owner Leslie Alexander made the decision.
Alexander took over as owner on July 30, 1993, and the Rockets went on to win back-to-back titles in 1994-95 behind the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. In 24 seasons under Alexander, the Rockets have won 56.9 percent of their games, fifth-highest in the league.
Brown said the 74-year-old Alexander had been approached over the years by potential buyers, but never considered it until very recently.