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FutureStarrNews About the NFL Franchise Tag
One of the most crucial decisions a team must make during its offseason is selecting which player to franchise tag. The window opened last Tuesday, February 21, and will remain open until March 7.
Franchise tags are a method for teams to secure players before they become unrestricted free agents. While this tactic has its advantages and drawbacks, it can help teams retain some of their most talented players.
Every offseason, teams use the NFL franchise tag to retain players who are near free agency. While many players dislike this system, it does provide general managers with an opportunity to add talent at a reduced cost.
Since 1993, this system has existed and consisted of three categories: exclusive, non-exclusive and transition tags. While each has slightly different rules, they all share one thing in common: they require players to stay with their team for one year while setting their salary at a substantial amount.
Teams with an exclusive tag can retain a player with up to 120% of his previous season's salary if he doesn't sign with another club. Furthermore, they have the right to match any other offer or receive two first-round picks in return if it cannot reach an agreement before becoming a free agent.
Players with potential who have shown promise but have yet to achieve large numbers are a good option for this option. Allen, for instance, is an up-and-comer who has made 35 pressures and registered an impressive 8.5% pressure rate this season; though his tag cost of $19.3 million may seem steep at first glance, it remains fair given his fit within the Jets' defensive scheme.
Another player worth noting is David Long, a former second-round pick who had 86 tackles this season in 12 games. He's an excellent off-ball linebacker and could make the Jets' defense stronger if they can keep him on their roster.
However, his franchise tag is worth only $20.9 million and so it would make more financial sense for the Jets to re-sign him without using it this offseason.
It's possible the Jets will use the franchise tag on a player or two in 2023, but it is uncertain if any on their roster are worth it. While they have several pending free agents they would like to retain, tagging someone this offseason might not be wise.
The NFL franchise tag is an important aspect of the offseason, giving teams a way to retain players who would otherwise become free agents in March. While this tag typically serves to keep prominent players around, other players may use it as leverage when seeking new deals with their current teams.
Teams in the NFL are only allowed to use one franchise tag per season. They may choose either to apply a franchise tag or transition tag on a player, depending on what they believe the value of that player to be.
Teams may utilize the franchise tag to guarantee their player a one-year contract with an annual salary that is calculated using an intricate formula. This figure is determined by taking the average of five highest salaries at their position over each of the previous five seasons or 120 percent of that prior year's salary, whichever is higher.
The Chicago Bears must make a big decision regarding Allen Robinson's contract, as they face an impending deadline of July 15 to reach an agreement. Otherwise, Robinson will be placed on the franchise tag and required to play out the 2021-2022 season under it.
For the Bears, applying the franchise tag to Allen Robinson is an essential way to ensure his future with them. Since being selected in the second round in 2011, Robinson has made a lasting impact on the team with back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving seasons.
After those early successes, Robinson began to experience injuries and missed several games. He ended the year with only 38 catches for 410 yards and one touchdown.
Last year, the Bears tagged Robinson to prevent him from becoming a free agent and it appears he now wants a long-term deal with them. Unfortunately, with just days until their franchise tag deadline approaching, it appears unlikely they will be able to make this happen.
If the Bears cannot reach an agreement with Robinson, running back David Montgomery could be their top candidate for receiving the franchise tag. Montgomery has been a reliable player for the Bears over four seasons, rushing for 3,609 yards and totaling 1,240 receiving yards. He has never played in less than 13 games during any season.
Fans, analysts and media around the NFL are eager to know if the Seattle Seahawks will use the franchise tag to protect their top players from free agency in March. Under General Manager John Schneider and Head Coach Pete Carroll, only twice have the Seahawks utilized this option; thus it should come as no shock if they opt for it this time around.
On March 16, several of last year's starters, such as safety Quandre Diggs, left tackle Duane Brown and running back Rashaad Penny, will become unrestricted free agents. Other notable players with exclusive negotiating rights include cornerback D.J. Reed, defensive tackle Al Woods and right tackle Brandon Shell.
Mike McGlinchey is another player that could benefit from a franchise tag. He's an impressive starter who earned himself an All-Pro spot in 2022 and has been productive at that position for years.
The NFL's franchise tag system works like this: Teams can place the tag on a player if both sides cannot agree on an extended contract. The amount of the tag is determined by their average annual salary over five seasons.
Calculated as a percentage of the current salary cap, non-exclusive offers usually exceed exclusive offers; they're less than franchise tags and teams are guaranteed two first-round draft picks if they choose to release the player.
Conversely, if your player is worth a lot of money but unlikely to sign a long-term deal with a team, then it might be worthwhile taking the risk to place the franchise tag on them. We've seen many punters and kickers receive this treatment.
Smith would make $32.4 million if the Seahawks use the franchise tag on him in 2023, and be eligible to receive an additional 20% raise if Seattle tags him again in 2024. This would mark a major milestone in Smith's career as it could serve as the starting point of negotiations with Seattle on a long-term contract.
With NFL free agency approaching, the New York Giants must make a decision regarding two of their key players. Running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones are expected to hit the market, so the Giants must do whatever possible to retain them.
General manager Joe Schoen has expressed his desire to bring Barkley and Jones back, but the two have yet to reach an agreement on a new contract. Furthermore, while the Giants will have $56 million in salary cap space when this season ends, many other key players remain unsigned.
That leaves them with a crucial decision: Will they tag either of the two players? If they do, they would have until mid-July to negotiate an extension with each player.
A franchise tag could potentially sour relations between the two players, so it may be beneficial for both to postpone using it until a deal can be struck. Doing so gives the Giants more time to discuss an extension and utilize some of their remaining salary-cap space on a longer-term deal for either or both players.
If the Giants failed to reach an agreement with either player, they have the option to revoke their franchise tag and pursue unrestricted free agents in 2023. This scenario could potentially cost them Barkley and/or Jones as players in free agency.
With two weeks left before their deadline, the Giants must decide whether to tag Jones or Barkley. Based on current odds, it appears they have a better chance at reaching an agreement with Jones, so that appears likely be their path forward.
Giants could potentially incur a costly financial burden by applying their franchise tag to Jones, who is reportedly seeking an extended deal worth over $40 million per year.
But if the Giants use their tag on Jones, it will free up more cap space so they can sign another quarterback to a multi-year deal that keeps Barkley out of free agency in 2023.