Steelers franchise Bell...Panthers, Gano agree...NBA fines Smart...ESPN sued by ex-employee

March 06, 2018 - 7:09 pm

UNDATED (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have put the franchise tag on All-Pro running back Le'Veon (LAY'-vee-ohn) Bell for a second straight spring, putting his long-term status with the club up in the air. Bell, a three-time Pro Bowler, accounted for 1,946 total yards and 11 touchdowns for the AFC North champions in 2017. Both Bell and Steelers management said after the season they hoped to get a contract extension done quickly, but failed to do so by Tuesday's deadline for teams to use the franchise tag.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension with Pro Bowl kicker Graham Gano (guh-NOH'). Terms of the deal were not announced, but a person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press the deal is worth $17 million overall with $9 million guaranteed. Gano is coming off his best NFL season, converting all 29 field goals from inside of 50 yards and 29 of 30 overall, and made 34 of 37 extra points.

BOSTON (AP) — Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been fined $15,000 for public criticism of officiating. NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe announced the fine on Tuesday. After Boston's 123-120 loss to Houston on Saturday, Smart said Rockets guard James Harden is among those who receive favorable treatment from referees. Smart told the Boston Globe that "certain players" get "calls that other guys just wouldn't get."

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A former on-air personality at ESPN has filed a lawsuit alleging she was subjected to sexual harassment at the cable television sports giant and then ostracized for complaining about it. The lawsuit filed Sunday in federal court in Connecticut by Adrienne Lawrence describes an atmosphere in which male employees openly watch pornography on their computers and keep "scorecards" naming female colleagues they are targeting for sex.

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