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No Contracts For Kirk Cousins And Le'Veon Bell. Now What?

No Contracts For Kirk Cousins And Le'Veon Bell. Now What?
From Deadspin - July 17, 2017

The NFLs franchise tag deadline came and went at 4 p.m. ET with no new contracts for Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, Pittsburgh running back LeVeon Bell, and Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson. If youre wondering what that means for them and their teams, I can explain.

Yeah, like, what does this mean?

All three players were given the franchise tag several months ago, which effectively limited them to bargaining only with their current teams, with today the deadline to agree to a long-term extension. Cousins and Johnson will play in 2017 on one-year, fully guaranteed deals worth $24 million and $16.7 million, respectively. Bell, who has yet to sign his franchise tender, is set to earn $12.1 million.

So they cant negotiate anymore? With anyone?

Not until after their respective teams have completed the 2017 regular season, no.

Then what?

All three stand to become unrestricted free agents next March, though their teams will have an exclusive negotiating window with them from the end of the season until then. And each can always be franchised again.

You said Bell didnt sign his tender. What does that mean?

I covered this in detail last month. But by not signing the tender, hes officially not under contract and is under no obligation to report for training camp next week, which means the team cannot fine him for any absences. ESPNs Adam Schefter says Bell could avoid the Steelers until mid-t0-late August. Bell wont start losing money until Week 1 of the regular season, when hell start missing any game checks he stands to earn by signing his tender.

Why did this happen?

The players and teams couldnt come to terms.

I know, dummy. But why couldnt they come to terms?

There are a lot of complicating factors for Cousins and Bell. Mind if I address them separately?

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