Big payoff for Rice, franchise tags?

Ray Rice celebrates with participants after finishing jumping

Ray Rice celebrates with participants after finishing jumping jacks during Ray Rice Day at New Rochelle High School. (June 16, 2012) (Credit: Rory Glaeseman)

After Drew Brees signed his long-term deal with the Saints over the weekend, there are still 12 players designated with the franchise tag who have yet to earn multi-year contracts. The deadline for those long-term deals is 4 p.m. today; if the players do not sign multi-year pacts by then, they’ll be forced to play the 2012 season on one-year deals.

The dozen players who are still holding out hope of bigger contracts before the deadline: Ravens running back Ray Rice, Bears running back Matt Forte, Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril, Browns kicker Phil Dawson, Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer, Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes, Redskins tight end Fred Davis, 49ers safety Dashon Goldson, and kickers Mike Nugent of the Bengals and Josh Scobee of the Jaguars. 

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