Sports

NFL notes: Steelers sign linebacker LaMarr Woodley

LaMarr Woodley didn’t groan when the Pittsburgh Steelers slapped him with a franchise tag.

He didn’t panic, either. His goal was always to remain with the defending AFC champions, and the news of the contract that will keep him in black-and-gold was so good he couldn’t keep it to himself.

Rather than get some extra rest entering the second week of training camp, Woodley took to Twitter around 6 a.m. Eastern time Friday to break the news about his six-year, $61.5 million deal.

“I set my alarm and I decided I was going to tweet this first thing in the morning,” Woodley said. “That was the whole thing – breaking the story first.”

Figures. It’s Woodley’s way to be in a rush.

The deal makes the Pro Bowler one of the highest-paid players at his position in the league while also providing the team with a little salary cap relief.

The Steelers were $10 million over the $120.4 million salary cap when camp began, a figure that included the one-year, $10 million contract tendered to Woodley by the team in February when the Steelers designated him with the franchise tag.

The new deal is front-loaded with bonus money, helping Pittsburgh to get some breathing room under the cap.

• Pro Bowl tight end Marcedes Lewis signed a five-year contract worth about $35 million with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Lewis will get nearly $17 million guaranteed.

The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Lewis after he caught 58 passes for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns – all career highs – in 2010.

• Former Chicago Bears center Olin Kreutz agreed to a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints worth up to $4 million with incentives.

The move gives New Orleans a veteran center following the departure of three-year starter Jonathan Goodwin, who agreed this week to a free-agent deal with San Francisco.

• The Washington Redskins signed former Seattle offensive tackle Sean Locklear.

The Redskins announced the move, but terms of the of the deal were not released.

The 30-year-old guard/tackle started 78 of 96 games for the Seahawks the past six seasons, including all but one last season.

• Wide receiver Malcom Floyd and the San Diego Chargers agreed on a two-year contract. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

The 6-foot-5 flanker averaged 19.4 yards per catch last year and led San Diego’s wide receivers with 37 receptions.

• The Carolina Panthers added former San Diego wide receiver Legedu Naanee to the roster.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Naanee must go through a physical and sign his contract before he take part in practice.

• The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent tight end Kevin Boss.

The team announced the signing three days after losing Pro Bowler Zach Miller to Seattle in free agency. Terms were not disclosed.

The Raiders brought in Boss for a workout and signed him after restructuring contracts to get under the salary cap.

• Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson is back at the team’s facility two days after suffering a seizure at practice.

Patterson arrived at training camp and spoke to coach Andy Reid for a few minutes before the afternoon session.

Agent J.R. Rickert said in a statement that Patterson is scheduled to see a neurologist in the next few days.

• Former Tennessee Titans linebacker David Thornton decided to retire after nine seasons in the NFL.

Thornton missed the 2010 season recovering from hip surgery starting on the physically unable to perform list before being placed on injured reserve.

• Former Pro Bowl offensive lineman Damien Woody announced his retirement from football and says he will serve as a studio NFL analyst for ESPN this season.

Woody spent the last three seasons playing right tackle for the New York Jets, but he was released in March.



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