Only 10 days after the NFL crowned one of its franchises the champion of the sport, the time has arrived for the application of the annual franchise tag. Sort of.
The window for using the tag opens on Wednesday. It closes two weeks later; in a deadline-driven league, that’s the more relevant moment.
There’s really no need for a two-week window. All that matters is the last moment for using it, and whether teams use it before then.
It therefore would be a surprise if anyone uses the tag before the close of business on March 1. Most teams would prefer to negotiate toward a long-term deal without applying the tag, especially if they have two potential candidates for the tag. In that case, negotiating with both allows, in theory, one to be signed and the other to be tagged.
At some point soon, we’ll cobble together our annual team-by-team look at who could be tagged. Since it’s unlikely that anyone will be tagged before March 1, this deadline-driven business affords us some time.