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Falcons reach five-year, $30 million deal with Moore

William Moore finished last season with 105 tackles and four interceptions and made the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

William Moore finished last season with 105 tackles and four interceptions and made the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

With the NFL issuing a memo Friday ostensibly prohibiting teams from reaching agreements with other than their own unrestricted free agents, the first day of the new negotiating period was rather tame.

Very little was revealed about discussions, leading to the belief that the league wants a major surge Tuesday when the league year officially begins at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

However, what did occur were several instances where teams were able to sign their own free agents.

Notable among them was the five-year, $30 million contract signed by safety William Moore to stay with the Atlanta Falcons.

“It’s a relief,” Moore told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That was my ultimate goal, to continue to be here in Atlanta and try to get the Super Bowl. I’m very pleased with the negotiations.”

The Buffalo Bills re-signed cornerback and kick returner Leodis McKelvin to a four-year deal worth a reported $20 million.

Also making headlines was the Pittsburgh Steelers release of linebacker James Harrison. The two sides were unable to reach agreement on a restructured contract that would have helped the Steelers become compliant with the salary cap.

Harrison said, “There was already an understanding between them and I on what was going to happen. We just couldn’t come to an agreement that was comfortable for both sides.”

In other agreements, the San Diego Chargers re-signed potential unrestricted free agent Nick Novak to a four year contract. Restricted free agents that signed were Tampa Bay running back LeGarrette Blount (one year); Washington tight end Logan Paulsen and fullback Darrel Young (each three years); New Orleans linebacker Junior Galette (three years) and San Diego long snapper Mike Windt (four years).

Multiple reports indicated the Blount signing is merely a prelude to a potential trade.


Steelers cut Harrison; Boldin may leave Ravens

Two of the most veteran names in the NFL are either gone or may be on their way out.

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Saturday that they released linebacker James Harrison, while Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin might become a free agent after all.

The Steelers had tried to lower Harrison’s salary cap number. He was scheduled to make $6.57 million this year.

Harrison, 35, had six sacks in 2012, his lowest total since becoming a full-time starter in 2007. He also snapped a streak of five straight Pro Bowls.

Harrison beat the team to the punch, announcing he was being released via Twitter: “It’s been a great run but all good things must come to a end. Thank you Steelers Nation I will miss you all!”

Harrison signed with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2002 and started 95 of 131 games with 64 sacks. He also played in 12 postseason games, including two Super Bowl victories.

As for Boldin, he told USA Today that he is reconsidering his decision to stay with the Ravens after previously saying he would only either stay with Baltimore or retire rather than play for another team.

However, Boldin, 32, rejected a Ravens proposal to restructure his contract and could become an unrestricted free agent if the Ravens release him. He is entering the final year of a four-year contract, which pays him $6 million this year. Boldin reportedly is unwilling to take a pay cut to help the Ravens get under the salary cap.

In other NFL news, a number of players agreed to new terms with their current teams:

---Cornerback/kick returner Leodis McKelvin agreed to a four-year, $20 million deal to remain with the Buffalo Bills. Fox Sports reported McKelvin’s deal will make him the highest-paid returner. He is reportedly guaranteed $7.5 million.

---The Washington Redskins announced they retained fullback Darrel Young when the two sides agreed to a deal, according to the Washington Post. The contract is reportedly for three years and $6.2 million, including a $1 million signing bonus.

---The Redskins also agreed to bring back tight end Logan Paulsen on a three-year, $4.1 million contract, according to multiple media reports on Saturday. The deal reportedly includes a $1 million signing bonus.

---The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed running back LeGarrette Blount to a one-year deal on Saturday, according to multiple reports. Blount is reportedly schedule to earn $1.75 million, including $1.25 million in base salary, $350,000 in a reporting bonus and a $150,000 workout bonus.

---The New Orleans Saints announced Saturday that they agreed to terms with linebacker Junior Galette on a three-year contract. Terms were not announced.

---The San Diego Chargers announced Saturday that they re-signed veteran long-snapper Mike Windt, while the National Football Post reported that the Chargers have re-signed kicker Nick Novak. Both deals are for four years. Novak’s deal is reportedly worth $6.6 million, including a $1.5 million signing bonus. No information is available yet on Windt’s deal.