SPORTS

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Stephen Whyno Nick Wass, As­so­ci­ated Press file

Kirk Cousins will be the first quar­ter­back in NFL his­tory to play con­sec­u­tive sea­sons on the fran­chise tag.

ECousins and the Red­skins didn’t sign a long-term deal by the dead­line Mon­day.

He will make $23.94 mil­lion on the fran­chise tag in 2017 af­ter earn­ing $19.95 mil­lion last year.

Team pres­i­dent Bruce

EAllen 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 yearto-year ba­sis. While we would have liked to work out a long-term con­tract be­fore this sea­son, we ac­cept his de­ci­sion.”

Cousins en­ters his third full sea­son as the Red­skins’ start­ing QB.

Long-term deal fails.

PITTS­BURGH» The Steel­ers and star run­ning back Le’Veon Bell failed to reach an agree­ment on a longterm 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 said 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.

Pan­thers fire GM.

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C» The Pan­thers fired gen­eral man­ager Dave Get­tle­man less than two weeks be­fore the open­ing of train­ing camp.

Team owner Jerry Richard­son said in a state­ment he made the de­ci­sion af­ter a long eval­u­a­tion of the team’s foot­ball oper­a­tions. Richard­son also ac­knowl­edged the tim­ing is not ideal as the Pan­thers are sched­uled to re­port to camp on July 26.

Get­tle­man had been Carolina’s gen­eral man­ager since 2013. The Pan­thers were 6-10 last sea­son, a year af­ter reach­ing Su­per Bowl 50 where they lost to Den­ver. Carolina had reached the post­sea­son in Get­tle­man’s first three years.

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