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NFL roundup: Hardy signs Panthers' tender

The SportsXchange

Defensive end Greg Hardy wasted no time signing the one-year franchise tender from the Carolina Panthers, who officially applied the restrictive tag to retain the free agent on Monday.

The tender for defensive ends is $13.116 million, but Hardy and management appear to be on the same page in the sense that each side is focused on getting a long-term deal in place. The deadline for signing franchise players to a long-term contract is July 15.

Hardy, 25, had 15 sacks in 2013 and 11 in 2012. Of the four players designated franchise players before Monday's deadline, Hardy could be the only one moving toward an extended stay with the team that tagged him.

---Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds signed his one-year transition tender and is scheduled to make $9.754 million for the 2014 season, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

The signing locks Worilds into the Steelers and keeps him from pursuing a better offer in the marketplace. The Steelers would have had the opportunity to match any offer sheet he may have received from another team.

Worilds, 26, has started 21 of 57 regular-season games played and registered 121 tackles (90 solo), 18 sacks and three forced fumbles. Last season, he set career highs in starts (11), tackles (54), sacks (8) and forced fumbles (2).

--The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo have agreed to a restructured contract that will create $10 million in salary cap space and bring the team to less than $1 million over the cap, according to reported Tuesday the Cowboys will convert $12.5 million of Romo's $13.5 million base salary into a signing bonus, dropping his salary-cap figure from $21.773 million to $11.773 million. Last year, Romo signed a six-year contract extension worth $108 million that included $55 million in guaranteed money, giving the team about $5 million worth of cap room for 2013.

With NFL free agency starting March 11, the Cowboys have been crunching numbers to get under the $133 million salary cap for the 2014 season.

---The Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday released veteran guard Uche Nwaneri, who played every snap last season, and saved $3.7 million in salary cap space.

Nwaneri, who was due to make about $5.9 million in 2014, started 92 games over the past seven seasons, including 63 of the team's last 64 games.

Nwaneri played in 104 games for the Jaguars after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Of his 92 starts, 16 were at left guard and 76 at right guard.

---The Philadelphia Eagles released veteran wide receiver Jason Avant, who was due a $1 million bonus on March 15, the team announced Tuesday.

The Eagles also save $3.25 million against the salary cap by cutting Avant.

Avant played his first eight NFL seasons in Philadelphia and ranks 11th in team history with 297 receptions for 3,646 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Chicago native was drafted in the fourth round in 2006 from the University of Michigan.

---The Washington Redskins released five players Tuesday, including defensive end Adam Carriker who was carrying a $6.5 million salary cap number.

Tight end Richard Quinn, who had signed a contract after the season ended, and punter Sav Rocca were also cut and the Redskins waived running backs Jawan Jamison and Davin Meggett.

---The San Diego Chargers released veteran fullback Le'Ron McClain on Tuesday, clearing $2.5 million in salary cap space.

The Chargers also released cornerbacks Derek Cox and Johnny Patrick.

The 29-year-old McClain, who only played 154 snaps on offense last year and only had 11 rush attempts for 32 yards, was scheduled to enter the final season of his three-year contract. He played in 34 games for the Chargers in two seasons, including playoffs.

---Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien was at Northwestern on Tuesday to work out quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the record-setting FCS player of the year at Eastern Illinois.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, in his trademark khakis and team-logo sleeved top, also conducted a private workout with Garoppolo. Both coaches left campus before the official Northwestern pro day workouts began.

---The Atlanta Falcons re-signed defensive tackle Corey Peters to a one-year contract, the team announced Tuesday.

In 2013, the 25-year-old Peters started all 15 games in which he played while tallying 48 tackles (35 solo) with a career-high five sacks and two passes defensed. Peters suffered a season-ending Achilles' injury in a Week 16 loss at San Francisco on Dec. 23, but he is expected to be ready for training camp.

---The Tennessee Titans re-signed safety Bernard Pollard, who led the team in tackles last season, to a two-year contract on Tuesday.

Pollard, who agreed to the deal Monday evening and signed the contract Tuesday morning, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the start of free agency on March 11.

In Pollard's first season with the Titans, he led the team with a career-high 142 tackles, added three interceptions and half of a sack in 16 starts at strong safety.

---Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling joined former teammate Tony Gonzalez in retirement on Tuesday.

In seven seasons and 96 regular-season games with the Falcons, Snelling rushed for 1,420 yards and eight touchdowns on 363 carries and added 168 receptions for 1,249 yards and nine touchdown catches. A seventh-round pick in the 207 NFL Draft, Snelling had his best season in 2009 when he made two starts and ran for 613 yards and four touchdowns on 142 carries. In his final season, Snelling rushed for 164 yards and one touchdown on 44 carries.

Gonzalez retired after the 2013 season at age 38 and is joining CBS as an analyst.
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