"A new formula for computing the worth of franchise tags in the NFL, revised as part of the collective bargaining agreement struck last summer, is in play for the first time as a Monday deadline looms for teams to designate which player they will effectively keep off the free agent market that opens March 13. Under the old formula, the franchise tag tender was based on the average of the top five salaries at a given position. Now the methodology begins with the value of the tags over the last five years and weighs in with a percentage of the salary cap."
"Pro Bowl linebacker James Farrior, a core member of the Steelers’ defense over the past decade, is on his way out in Pittsburgh. His agent, Ralph Cindrich, announced the news Friday morning."
"Brees should be the highest-paid player in the NFL, writes Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune. The Saints restructured Will Smith’s contract to create more room under the salary cap — and they may not stop with Smith. Duncan has the cap figures for the Saints’ 53 players under contract for the 2012 season."
"The last time we saw Saints linebacker Will Herring, he was hobbling off the field favoring his right knee against Carolina on January 1st. We would later find out that he had sprained his medial collateral ligament and was subsequently placed on injured reserve, ending his season. The former Seattle Seahawk came to New Orleans hoping to compete for a starting job at outside linebacker, but 2011 was just a big disappointment. He would make the team as a back-up and special teamer, but wasn’t able to stay on the field."
"“Really? That’s news to me,” Shurmur told The Plain Dealer Thursday at the Greater Cleveland Auto Show. “I’m one of the coaches he didn’t tell, obviously.” ESPN reported Thursday that Cleveland’s bruising (and slightly enigmatic) running back told team sources at the end of the season that he was pondering retirement, and a possible role with the CIA, following a season filled with injuries and reports of locker-room tension."