Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito jogged off the practice field Wednesday [url=http://www.panthersfootballauthentic.com/dj-moore-jersey-authentic]Youth DJ Moore Jersey[/url] , started signing autographs for kids and then declined all interview requests.
Incognito’s version of what happened during a wild-card game at Jacksonville earlier this month remains unclear.
Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue accused Incognito of using ”weak racist slurs” during the game. They ended up as Pro Bowl teammates this week, and Ngakoue said Wednesday they cleared the air and are good to go.
Ngakoue declined to get into specifics about their conversation at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex, preferring to move on.
Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson provided more insight, saying he saw Ngakoue and Incognito talking before practice.
”That was really cool, you know,” Jackson said. ”We have a huge respect for each other, and sometimes the heat of the moment can get to you and you can say things you might not really mean or do things you might not really mean and be apologetic for it.
”I think it shows the true character of a man to come and apologize and/or talk about it to clear the air.”
Ngakoue called out Incognito on Twitter hours after Jacksonville’s 10-3 victory on Jan. 7. Ngakoue repeatedly has declined to disclose what Incognito said.
”I just felt like people needed to know what happened,” Ngakoue said the next day. ”He knows what he said. I don’t got to repeat it.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Wednesday the exchange ”remains under review.”
Here are some other things of note from the first day of Pro Bowl practice:
BELL’S CONTRACT: Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell says he and the team are making progress on a contract extension . Pittsburgh has presented an initial offer, and Bell says ”we are a lot closer than we were last year.”
The 25-year-old back turned down a long-term contract in 2017, skipped training camp and then signed a one-year, $12 million franchise tender. The Steelers could franchise him again in March, a move Bell told ESPN would force him to consider retiring or sitting out the 2018 season. A second tag would be worth around $14.5 million.
”I think we’ll get something done and it will be exciting for both sides, for the fans and everybody,” said Bell, who led the NFL in touches (404) this past season.
LAWRENCE’S DEAL: Cowboys defensive lineman Demarcus Lawrence is also in for a huge payday after finishing with 14+ sacks. Lawrence said following NFC practice that he would welcome the franchise tag , which would guarantee Lawrence around $17 million in 2018.
”It will get done eventually, so I’m not worrying about my contract,” Lawrence told NFL.com. ”I’m trying to have a good time with this group of guys and my family while I’m here. … Franchise not bad. Contract not bad. So, like I said, I’m not worrying about nothing. I’ll leave it up to my agent. He’ll take care of me.”
STILL REELING: Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye said he and his four Pro Bowl teammates are still trying to get over losing to New England in the AFC championship game.
”It’s only going to motivate me to go harder and motivate our team,” he said. ”I already see the hunger. We’re even talking about it here in Orlando. I know we’ve got to watch the (Super Bowl). But we’ll be there next year. We’re going to find a way.”
TRASH KING: Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey might be the NFL’s best trash-talker. He upset Baltimore’s Steve Smith in 2016 and agitated mild-mannered Cincinnati’s A.J. Green so much in November that Green choked and body-slammed Ramsey . Ramsey doesn’t plan on quieting down much, if at all, this week.
”I don’t know if anybody out here is on my level with the trash talk yet. But, throughout the week, we’re going to find out,” Ramsey said.
”I’m going to cool it a little bit. But at the end of the day [url=http://www.panthersfootballauthentic.com/donte-jackson-jersey-authentic]Youth Donte Jackson Jersey[/url] , I’m me. I’m always going to be me (and I’m) here in full effect this week.”
Spending on signing bonuses for international amateur free agents dropped 25 percent to $153 million from $203 million in the first year of restraints, which cost Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani more than $100 million.
Spending was capped by baseball’s collective bargaining agreement beginning with the signing period from last July 2 through June 15.
Dominican shortstop Wander Franco received the largest bonus, $3,825,000 from Tampa Bay. Venezuelan catcher Daniel Flores was second at $3.3 million from Boston.
Just five other players received bonuses of more than $2 million: Cuban outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez ($2.8 million from Texas) was third, followed by Bahamian outfielder Kristian Robinson ($2.55 million from Arizona), Dominican shortstop Luis Garcia ($2.5 million from Philadelphia), Ohtani ($2,315,000 from the Los Angeles Angels) and Dominican shortstop Rony Mauricio ($2.1 million from the New York Mets).
Under the new rules, international amateurs were redefined as under 25 years old and with less than six years of professional experience, up from 23 years old and less than five years of experience. That meant teams were limited to what they could offer Ohtani, who hit .289 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 34 games and went 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA before the right-hander hurt his pitching elbow. Under the old rules, he would likely have signed a long-term deal for more than $150 million.
During the 2016-17 signing period, four Cubans were given contracts that included signing bonuses above $5 million: Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert agreed to $26 million, followed by San Diego pitcher Adrian Morejon at $11 million, and Cincinnati shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez and Padres outfielder Jorge Ona at $7 million each.
San Diego spent $40.8 million on international amateurs in the 2016-17 signing period, incurring a $37.4 million tax. Other big spenders were the White Sox ($29 million in bonuses, $25.2 million in tax), Cincinnati ($17.7 million/$12.4 million) and Atlanta ($17.3 million/$12.8 million).
Under the labor contract agreed to in November 2016, hard restrictions were put in place. Sixteen teams initially were limited in 2017-18 to $4.75 million, six to $5.25 million and eight to $5.75 million – all not counting bonuses of up to $10,000. Teams were able to trade allocations, and the New York Yankees boosted theirs to $8,309,000 [url=http://www.panthersfootballauthentic.com/rashaan-gaulden-jersey-authentic]Youth Rashaan Gaulden Jersey[/url] , followed by Texas at $8.1 million and Boston at $8 million.
Baltimore lowered its pool to $500,000.
Teams’ bonus pools totaled $153.5 million and they spent $149,676,750. Counting bonuses of up to $10,000, which don’t count against the pool, spending totaled $153,362,100. The 2018-19 pools total $158,889,500, up 3.5 percent.
Spending on international amateurs had increased from $74 million in 2012-13 to $156 million in 2015-16.
As a result of exceeded thresholds in 2016-17 under the rules of the previous collective bargaining agreement, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston, Oakland, St. Louis, San Diego and Washington were prohibited from signing international amateurs for bonuses of more than $300,000 both in 2017-18 and will be again in 2018-19. The Chicago Cubs, Kansas City, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco were not allowed to in 2017-18.
Restraints were introduced in the 2012-16 labor contract on spending on draft picks, players who reside in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Bonuses for those players totaled $234 million in 2011, dropped to $223 million in the first year of the new rules and didn’t reach their prior level until 2015’s $249 million, according to Major League Baseball. Draft spending rose to $269 million for 2016 selections and $289 million for 2017 picks.