March 2015


Padraig Harrington captured his first PGA Tour title in more than six years when he won the Honda Classic by making a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation and beating 21-year-old rookie Daniel Berger on the second playoff hole. NFL DETROIT (AP) - Ndamukong Suh can test the open market when free agency begins March 10 after the Detroit Lions did not use the franchise tag on the star defensive tackle. There was only a report early in the day on the team's website saying the franchise tag's price of around $27 million for Suh proved too daunting. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings have been trying to take advantage of their opportunity to communicate with Adrian Peterson.
With the cap rising to $143 million, if Pierre-Paul signs the tender, the Giants will pay him nearly $14.78 million for 2015.
The Kansas City Chiefs weren't letting a 26-year-old coming off a 22-sack season reach free agency. So Justin Houston will get the franchise tag. The Broncos felt the same way about receiver Demaryius Thomas. He'll get the franchise tag too, the Denver Post's Mike Klis reported . ESPN's Adam Schefter was first with the Houston news. Yahoo Sports' Rand Getlin said that the New York Giants decided to tag defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Tim Twentyman of the Detroit Lions' official site reported the team will not use the franchise tag on Ndamukong Suh, which isn't unexpected since Suh would have cost almost $27 million to tag. The New England Patriots made an interesting decision with their franchise tag. Instead of using it on safety Devin McCourty, as many figured they would, they instead used it on kicker Stephen Gostkowski. That's a defensible decision too, because Gostkowski is arguably the best kicker in the NFL. He hit 94.6 percent of his field-goal attempts last season. It has been previously reported that the Dallas Cowboys expect to tag receiver Dez Bryant. In addition, the Miami Dolphins used the transition tag for tight end Charles Clay, for a little more than $7 million. The deadline to use franchise or transition tags is 4 p.m. Eastern time on Monday. In Thomas' case, and likely in Houston's case and the others who will be tagged as well, they're expected to get the non-exclusive tag. That means teams can sign them away at the price of two first-round picks. That sounds like a massive price, and it is, but maybe it shouldn't be viewed that way (aside from the fact that the NFL clearly has an unspoken understanding that messing with someone else's restricted free agents or franchise players will be looked down upon). Would a team consistently picking near the bottom of the draft who had cap room really be that unwise to give up two first-round picks for someone like Houston? If Houston was in this draft somehow, he'd be a top-five pick without question. He has made three Pro Bowls in four NFL seasons. All-Pro pass rushers who have plenty of prime years left don't become available often. That's probably why the Chiefs would match any offer anyway, which is their right with Houston as a franchise-tagged player. The same could said for a team like the Seattle Seahawks and the franchised receivers. Assuming the Seahawks could fit a Bryant or Thomas under the cap, wouldn't one of those elite receivers do more for them than any two late first-round picks would? The point of the franchise tag is that it virtually guarantees you'll keep that player. It'll be interesting to see if an NFL team ever tries to pry one away. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
In the end, the Detroit Lions couldn't justify placing the franchise tag on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The #Lions will not place the franchise tag on DT Ndamukong Suh. — Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) March 2, 2015 It would have cost the team a one-year tender of $27 million, which — along with the bloated salaries of Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford — would have crippled the Lions' salary cap situation and perhaps hindered their chances to re-sign Suh and even Nick Fairley, another key free agent. The reason his figure was high was because Suh's cap number was $22 million a year ago in his redone deal, and the franchise rules require a 20 percent kicker over that number. The Lions are playing with fire, but they still harbor hopes they can re-sign Suh to a long-term deal. They'll have until March 10, which is the opening of free agency, to lock up Suh or risk losing him to the open market, where the money could exceed what the Lions can afford. A year ago, the Lions opted not to pick up the fifth-year option for Fairley, a first-round pick in 2010. He had been out of shape and had not produced to the level the Lions had hoped. But even with a season-ending injury last season, Fairley played well enough — and with the Suh uncertainty looming — that it appears in hindsight the Lions might have made a mistake. Now what for Suh? The Lions could come to an agreement with him in the next week. But other teams will be lurking with one of the top interior defenders now hitting the market. Previously, Suh's camp had let word leak that he might be seeking a landing spot in one of the top markets. With the New York Giants expected to franchise Jason-Pierre Paul and the New York Jets loaded with d-line talent, the NYC market might be limited as a destination. Philadelphia? Dallas? It's not clear if Suh is financially viable in either spot, although the Cowboys always figure to have one eye on the situation. As for teams with the requisite cap space, the Oakland Raiders figure to be players. Maybe the Atlanta Falcons, too, as they have cleared gobs of cap room and desperately need a pass rush. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

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