The transition tag could be in play for the Browns as they seek to retain free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com opines (Twitter link). Given that it costs less than the franchise tag, the transition tender is an alternative for clubs looking to save funds, but it wouldn’t entitle Cleveland to any draft compensation if Pryor signs an unmatched offer sheet with another team. The Browns lead the NFL in cap space by a wide margin, however, and would likely choose to equal any offer Pryor lands on the open market. Pryor reportedly wants to stay in Cleveland, while the Browns are “redoubling efforts” to sign him to an extension, so any tag — franchise or transition — could eventually be moot.
Here’s more from around the NFL:
- Although running back Le’Veon Bell visited a doctor last month while dealing with a groin injury, he isn’t planning on surgery, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who adds the pending Steelers free agent would have undergone the procedure by now if it were required. That’s certainly good news for Bell, but it probably won’t make a difference for his contractual status. He’s still expected to be franchised by Pittsburgh, and the tag will pay him north of $12MM.
- The Bills are still deciding whether to move on from quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and the club’s upcoming decision will have far-reaching effects on the rest of the Buffalo roster, writes Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. Taylor received medical clearance today, so the Bills can freely choose to release him before a $27.5MM option bonus is due on March 11. If Buffalo goes that route, the franchise would essentially be hitting the reset button, opines Rodak, meaning the Bills could explore a LeSean McCoy trade. If Taylor sticks around, however, the Bills likely won’t have enough cap space to retain players such as cornerback Stephon Gilmore without restructuring other contracts.
- The Bears announced that they’ve hired Zach Azzanni as wide receivers coach and Brandon Staley as outside linebackers of coach. Azzanni has spent his entire career to date in the college ranks, and coached pass-catchers at Tennessee for the past four seasons. He’s replacing Curtis Johnson, who left for the Saints after his contract expired. Staley, meanwhile, also comes from the NCAA, where he served as John Carroll University’s defensive coordinator for three of the past four years. Now in his first NFL job, Staley is taking over for Clint Hurtt, who rejected an extension from the Bears and defected to Seattle.
- The Broncos have hired former LSU assistant Chris Kragthorpe as an offensive quality control coach, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. In addition to spending time in Baton Rouge, Kragthorpe also previously worked for the University of Georgia.