PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert stressed earlier this month one of the team’s biggest goals during the offseason was to make wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell vital parts of the organization ”for life.”
Done and well, on its way to being done.
The Steelers signed Brown to a new five-year contract, following through on a promise the club made last summer to take care of the perennial All-Pro as soon as he had just one season left on the six-year deal he signed in 2012.
The team also placed an exclusive rights franchise tag on Bell, opening the negotiating window to reach a long-term agreement with him by the start of training camp.
Brown’s new contract runs through 2021 and will pay him over $72 million and makes him one of the highest paid non-quarterbacks in the league. Brown celebrated by posting a picture of himself with agent Drew Rosenhaus then later added another one with his signature phrase ”Business is Boomin’ .”
Bell could have become a free agent next month, but instead will work with the team on a new contract before the July 15 cutoff after the team used the exclusive rights franchise tag.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – A person with knowledge of the details says the New York Giants have told defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul that he will be made a franchise player.
The league source with direct knowledge of the move spoke on condition of anonymity because the Giants had not announced the decision.
The Giants have to designate Pierre-Paul a franchise player by 4 p.m. on Wednesday. He will earn roughly $17 million this season unless the team reaches a long-term agreement by mid-July.
Pierre-Paul had a comeback season in 2016, recording seven sacks and 53 tackles. He also had eight passes defended, forced three fumbles and recovered one and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. He missed the final four regular-season games and a playoff matchup against Green Bay with a sports hernia.
Pierre-Paul missed the opening half of the 2015 season because of a severe hand injury sustained in a fireworks accident on July 4.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Wild came back from their five-day bye with a most unwelcome visitor: the mumps virus.
Forwards Zach Parise and Jason Pominville were diagnosed with the highly contagious disease and must miss at least three games.
Assistant coach Scott Stevens was also stricken, coach Bruce Boudreau said after the Wild beat Los Angeles 5-4 in overtime.
The Wild confirmed the cases of Parise and Pominville shortly before the game against the Kings. The veteran wings were placed in isolation for a five-day period, meaning they’ll at least miss games Tuesday at Winnipeg and Thursday at Columbus. The Wild said players and staff were recently provided with a measles-mumps-rubella vaccination, as they were early in the 2014-15 season when the virus last made its way through.
Vancouver played Saturday night without five players because of confirmed mumps or symptoms associated with the virus. The Wild played there a little more than three weeks ago.
WASHINGTON (AP) – With their championship window in danger of closing, the Washington Capitals made a strong move to try to win the Stanley Cup this spring by acquiring defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in a trade with the St. Louis Blues.
Shattenkirk is a pending unrestricted free agent and was considered the top rental player available ahead of the NHL’s Wednesday trade deadline.
Washington traded a 2017 first-round pick, forward Zach Sanford, a conditional 2019 draft pick and minor league forward Brad Malone to St. Louis for Shattenkirk and goaltender Pheonix Copley.
The 28-year-old right-handed-shooting defenseman gives the Capitals one of the strongest, deepest blue lines in the league with Shattenkirk, Matt Niskanen, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov, Brooks Orpik, Nate Schmidt and Taylor Chorney. Shattenkirk has 42 points on 11 goals and 31 assists this season and 66 goals and 218 assists in 471 NHL games.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) – A 19-year-old hockey player from Erie Community College has been charged after attacking a referee during the final seconds of the junior college national championship game.
According to the Broome County Sheriff’s office, Brandon Day was charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and second-degree harassment.
Day was serving a penalty Sunday night when he bolted onto the ice before his penalty was over during the game between Erie and Dakota College of Bottineau at Broome Community College.
Video shows Day skating toward the official and knocking him backward. The other two officials quickly intervened with several players and subdued Day.
Day is from Cheektowaga, New York, and is due back in court in March.
CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Cubs hope to meet with city officials in the next few months to plan a bid for the 2020 All-Star game.
During a City Club of Chicago luncheon, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts reiterated the team’s desire to host the game at Wrigley Field. He says he’s not sure exactly when discussions with the city will happen.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped bring the NFL draft to Chicago in 2015 and 2016 after decades in New York. The Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908 last fall in a World Series that drew as a whole its highest rating since 2004.
An All-Star game in 2020 would be a huge showcase after a $600 million transformation to baseball’s second-oldest ballpark and its surroundings.