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Steelers sign Casey Hampton, use franchise tag on Jeff Reed

The Steelers have signed Casey Hampton to a three-year contract, avoiding a potentially contentious situation with the veteran nose tackle, and they have placed the franchise tag on kicker Jeff Reed.

Both deals effectively keep both from hitting the open market when free agency starts March 5.

The Steelers had until 4 p.m. to use one of the two tags available to them.

By using the franchise tag on Reed, they have to offer him a one-year contract worth $2.814 million.

Hampton, 32, had wanted a multi-year contract from the Steelers or the freedom to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. His contract is worth $21.3 million and includes a $6.5 million signing bonus.

Had the Steelers used he franchise tag on Hampton, they would have had to offer the 6-1, 325-pounder a one-year deal worth $7,742,500.

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