AFC North: Steve Weatherford

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice still hasn't signed his franchise tag and apparently doesn't plan to do so for a while. He is not alone.

Of the 21 players who received the franchise tag, 12 remain unsigned. Raiders safety Tyvon Branch signed his franchise tender Monday, becoming only the sixth player to do so. Three players (Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, Colts defensive end Robert Mathis and Giants punter Steve Weatherford) did what all franchise players hope to do -- reach long-term deals with their teams.

Franchise players have until July 16 to sign new deals with their teams or they'll play the season under their tag. Here's the updates on the 21 players who received the franchise tag:

QB Drew Brees, Saints: Remains unsigned. Reportedly no progress in talks for long-term deal.

RB Matt Forte, Bears: Remains unsigned. Skipped first voluntary workouts.

RB Ray Rice, Ravens: Remains unsigned. Missed start of voluntary workouts.

WR DeSean Jackson, Eagles: Signed five-year, $47 million contract that includes $15 million guaranteed.

WR Wes Welker, Patriots: Remains unsigned. Welker said he's "probably not going to" attend mandatory minicamp in June.

WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs: Remains unsigned. Chiefs reportedly have no intentions of trading him.

TE Fred Davis, Redskins: Signed his franchise tender of $5.446 million on March 16.

DL Cliff Avril, Lions: Remains unsigned. Sides reportedly are at an impasse in contract talks.

DE Calais Campbell, Cardinals: Remains unsigned. Missed start of voluntary workouts.

DE-LB Robert Mathis, Colts: Signed four-year, $36 million contract that includes $15 million signing bonus.

LB Anthony Spencer, Cowboys: Signed his franchise tender of $8.856 million last month.

CB Brent Grimes, Falcons: Signed his franchise tender of $10.281 million last month after reports surfaced that the Falcons were interested in trading for Asante Samuel.

S Tyvon Branch, Raiders: Signed his franchise tender of $6.212 million on Monday.

S Dashon Goldson, 49ers: Remains unsigned.

S Michael Griffin, Titans: Remains unsigned. Plans to sign injury waiver and attend offseason workouts.

K Connor Barth, Buccaneers: Remains unsigned. Didn't attend start of voluntary workouts.

K Phil Dawson, Browns: Signed franchise tender of $3.81 million on March 13.

K Mike Nugent, Bengals: Signed his franchise tender of $2.654 million last month.

K Matt Prater, Broncos: Remains unsigned.

K Josh Scobee, Jaguars: Remains unsigned. Talks have reportedly stalled between the two sides.

P Steve Weatherford, Giants: Signed a five-year, $12.75 million contract.
QUARTERBACK: Tom Brady fell short of his fourth game-winning touchdown drive in a Super Bowl. He overcame a ragged start to find his groove. He set a Super Bowl record with 16 straight completions, including 15 straight on two touchdown passes. His first touchdown pass, a 4-yarder to Danny Woodhead, showed his patience to wait for the running back to break free of the linebacker. Brady's second one, a 12-yarder, was quicker recognition to find tight end Aaron Hernandez against the middle linebacker. Brady did get hit on his interception (which turned out to be a long punt) and seemed to hurt his already banged-up left shoulder. He started off the scoring but not the way he intended. His intentional grounding penalty on the Patriots' first play led to a safety, a strange mistake for a quarterback known for such great awareness. Grade: B-plus.

OFFENSE: The Patriots' receivers let Brady down in the fourth quarter with drops from Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Hernandez. The passing game was limited with tight end Rob Gronkowski less than full strength with a high-ankle sprain. He didn't get a catch until three minutes left in the first half. Hernandez picked up the slack with a 12-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter. The offensive line held up quite well against a Giants pass rush that recorded five sacks of Brady in the last Super Bowl matchup. Welker was a hot target in the passing game, although he couldn't pull down a key reception late in the fourth quarter. Grade: C.

DEFENSE: The Patriots' much-maligned defense came up big in the biggest game of the season. Playing both safeties deep to defend against the deep pass, the Patriots made it tough for Eli Manning and forced him to throw into tight windows. The New England run defense got pushed around early (70 yards rushing allowed in the first half), but fared better in the second half. The Patriots played more physical after they were sparked by Patrick Chung's hit on Hakeem Nicks along the sideline. The Patriots then allowed Ahmad Bradshaw to score a 6-yard touchdown with 40 seconds left, so they could get the ball back into the hands of Brady. Grade: B-minus.

COACHING: Bill Belichick lost his second straight Super Bowl. The Patriots had a great game plan defensively and were running an efficient offense. But it was questionable to throw on second-and-11 in the fourth quarter — which resulted in an incompletion to Welker and stopped the clock with four minutes left in the game. Then, the challenge on the Mario Manningham catch on the Giants' final drive cost the Patriots a timeout. Belichick prides himself on precision and discipline, which is why having 12 men on the field for defense was so surprising. That penalty negated a recovered fumble for the New England defense and led to the Giants' first touchdown (a Victor Cruz 2-yard catch in the first quarter). Grade: B.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 29-yard field goal. The kickoff coverage team allowed a 34-yard return early in the third quarter. The Patriots' return game was virtually non-existent. Punter Zoltan Mesko was outplayed by Steve Weatherford, averaging 38 yards per punt. Grade: C.

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