The deadline for franchise players to sign long-term contracts has passed, and three players remain unsigned: Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril and 49ers safety Dashon Goldson.
Those three are all expected to sign their one-year franchise tenders eventually, but all of them may decide to take their time, possibly skipping training camp and waiting until just before the start of the regular season. It’s unlikely that any of them will remain unsigned at the start of the regular season, when they’d start losing one-seventeenth of the franchise player salary each week they remained unsigned.
Six more franchise players have signed their one-year tender offers and will play out the 2012 season for the franchise salary: Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes, Patriots receiver Wes Welker, Redskins tight end Fred Davis, Bengals kicker Mike Nugent, Browns kicker Phil Dawson and Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer. Those six players will all either get a 20 percent pay raise if they’re franchised again next year, or they’ll test unrestricted free agency in March of 2013.
And 12 franchise players reached long-term deals, including three who just reached their deals today: Ravens running back Ray Rice, Bears running back Matt Forte and Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee.
The full list of all of this year’s 21 franchise players and their contract status is right here.