The new NFL league year is almost upon us, and teams are already planning moves to improve their 2019 season roster.
Until March 13, teams can select players to use the franchise tag on as a means of securing another year of service without free agency and in hopes of reaching a long term deal. Teams have until March 5 to use it, and once it's tendered and signed, teams and players have until July 15 to try to negotiate a deal.
If no deal is reached, the player must play out the year under the tag, which is not to be worth less than the average of the league's top five salaries at the player's position.
As deadlines approach and April's draft inches closer, teams are starting to make moves regarding both players and staff members. The Bears made headlines yesterday when they reportedly made the decision to release kicker Cody Parkey–known for his infamous double-doink during the NFL wild-card round–at the start of the league year.
Here are all the latest rumors and news from around the NFL:
• On Saturday night, Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell hinted at interest in joining the Philadelphia Eagles. Bell was notified on Wednesday that the Steelers wouldn't be tagging him, making him an unrestricted free agent in March.
• Raiders coach Jon Gruden said he is open to trading any of his late first-round picks in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft as there is "a lot of potential for trades." (Grant Gordon, NFL.com)
• Steelers DE Tyson Alualu says Pittsburgh told him in exit interviews they would try to re-sign him. (Jeremy Fowler, ESPN)
• The Rams are hiring former Chargers assistant DL coach Eric Henderson as their new defensive line coach. (Ian Rapoport, NFL Network)
• The Eagles have signed kicker Jake Elliot and LS Rick Lovato to one-year contracts through 2019. (Adam Schefter, ESPN)
• The Pittsburgh Steelers consider the Patriots and the AFC North as "no-trade zones" to send wide receiver Antonio Brown to. Pittsburgh would rather see Brown play with a NFC team. (Jeremy Fowler, ESPN)