With the new league set to begin next week, designating the beginning of free agency and the 2023 season, the NFL’s deadline for the franchise tag passed Tuesday.
Teams had until 4 p.m. Eastern time to negotiate a deal with a player or apply the franchise tag, less they become free agents next Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST.
Six teams designated franchise players this year, and all six received the non-exclusive tag, meaning that other teams can negotiate with and sign these players, but they would surrender two first-round picks to do so.
The six players are
- Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
- Dallas Cowboys RB Tony Pollard
- Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram
- Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs
- New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley
- Washington Commanders DT Daron Payne
I find it interesting that three running backs received the tag at a time when RBs are seen as replaceable and not good value for long-term extensions.
In that sense though, I suppose it makes more sense to pay an RB on a one-year high dollar amount, rather than tie up future salary cap space to the position.
This will no doubt create more of a market for Chicago Bears running back free agent David Montgomery. He could be set to cash in without the three biggest running back names on the market.
The other franchise player that could have ramifications for the Bears is Payne. Many fans were excited by the prospect of the Bears adding him to their DL, but that’s not highly unlikely.
However, there are some exciting names still hitting the open market in Javon Hargrave and Dalvin Tomlinson. Plus veterans like Michael Brockers, Sheldon Rankins or Fletcher Cox.
Of course, Lamar Jackson headlines the group and the idea that another team could potentially sign him away for two first-round picks will get a lot of press. The situation is worth monitoring, as it could shake up the number of teams that potentially want to get into trade talks with Chicago for the first pick.
As always stay tuned right here for more.