Grimes says no to Falcons' franchise tag

The Atlanta Falcons on Friday placed the franchise tag on cornerback Brent Grimes, but his agent told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Grimes doesn’t plan to sign the tag.

Grimes, who led the team with 17 passes defensed in 2011, is one of the top names in an unusually large class of 17 unrestricted free agents. He had a combined 11 interceptions in 2009 and 2010 and was an alternate Pro Bowl pick in 2010.

Grimes’ agent, Ben Dogra, had said the decision by general manager Thomas Dimi­troff was expected. In announcing the move, Dimitroff said he plans to continue talks on a long-term deal.

RAVENS: Ray Rice has been designated the franchise player for Baltimore, which hopes to buy some time while negotiating a lengthy deal for the two-time Pro Bowl running back.

REDSKINS: The team placed its franchise tag on tight end Fred Davis, who was suspended for the last four games of last season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Despite missing a quarter of the season, he was second on the team with 59 catches and 796 yards receiving, both career highs.

STEELERS: The team said veteran linebacker James Farrior and defensive end Aaron Smith will be released before the next league year begins March 13.

COURTS: A Colorado jury acquitted former Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox of sexual assault charges. Cox was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his apartment in 2010 after a night of partying. She became pregnant, and prosecutors said DNA tests indicated Cox was the father.

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