Roundup: DeMarcus Lawrence won’t play on tag in ’19

By Nick Shook
Around The NFL writer
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The tag deadline arrived and passed without so much as a whimper.

The four players who received the franchise tag this offseason and hadn’t yet negotiated a long-term deal didn’t accomplish such a task by Monday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline. Those players: Lions defensive end Ezekiel AnsahCowboys defensive end DeMarcus LawrenceRams safety Lamarcus Joyner and most notably, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, will play the 2018 season under their respective tags.

Browns receiver Jarvis Landry was the lone player to receive the franchise tag and sign a long-term deal, though his situation was different: The Dolphins tagged Landry before trading him to Cleveland, where the wideout found a new home and a future beyond 2018.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was quick to address the relative failure to secure Bell beyond 2018.

“Even though we could not reach a long-term contract agreement with Le’Veon Bell, we are excited he will be with the team in 2018,” Colbert said in a statement tweeted by the team. “We worked very hard to find common ground, but we were unable to accomplish that prior to today’s deadline. Le’Veon will play this season under the exclusive franchise tag designation.

“After the 2018 season is completed, we again will attempt to work out a long-term contract with Le’Veon in the hope that he will continue his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

Bell attempted to explain his side of the prolonged financial standoff via Twitter:

Bell’s agent, Adisa Bakari, summed up negotiations in one sentence: “They wanted to pay the position, not the player,” NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Teammate and hole-opener Ramon Foster took the Crying Jordan approach in dealing with the news:

According to Rapoport, Bell turned down the Steelers‘ final offer of $70 million over five years, including a $30 million payout over the next two seasons.

As for the other three aforementioned tag recipients:

1. Lawrence is aiming to make this franchise tag season his last, playing out the year on the one-year deal with the goal of earning a long-term contract with the Cowboys and a firm refusal to play 2019 on a second consecutive tag, Rapoport reported.

2. News on the Joyner front fell flat early Monday morning when he and the Rams failed to agree on a short- or long-term deal, Rapoport reported. The four-year vet will look to improve upon his three-interception 2017 while playing on the tag in 2018.

3. Ansah’s side didn’t need Monday’s 11th hour to try to come close to a deal. Rapoport reported Monday morning the sides would not put pen to paper on a long-term contract and the defensive end will play on the tag.

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