The tag deadline arrives on Tuesday, in only two days. And only two guys have been tagged since the window opened 12 days ago.
On the first day, the Dolphins applied the franchise tag to receiver Jarvis Landry. More recently, the Lions used the franchise tag on defensive end Ziggy Ansah. Here’s a list of the other hot spots as the final 48 hours of the process loom.
The Steelers tried to impose a February 20 artificial deadline on running back Le'Veon Bell to get a long-term deal done, and it didn’t happen. There’s a chance, maybe slim, they’ll get something done before having to make the tag/no tag decision on Tuesday. If not, the Steelers will have to choose between $14.5 million for Bell in 2018 or letting the market set his long-term value.
Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson could be tagged, either franchise or transition, if the Jags can’t get a deal done in the next two days. With Blake Bortles signing a reasonable deal, the Jaguars have more flexibility to keep Robinson around.
Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will be franchise tagged if he doesn’t agree to a long-term deal by Tuesday.
Washington has made it clear that it won’t tag quarterback Kirk Cousins for a third straight year, proving that even dysfunction has its limits.
The Vikings reportedly won’t use the franchise tag on quarterback Case Keenum; they probably also won’t use the transition tag, either.
Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller, whose fifth-year option wasn’t picked up by the team a year ago, could be franchise tagged after a strong 2017.
The Panthers reportedly are considering using the franchise tag on kicker Graham Gano.
The Seahawks reportedly won’t be tagging defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.
The Rams reportedly are more inclined to tag safety Lemarcus Joyner than receiver Sammy Watkins.
At the outset of the process, we set the over-under for tags at 5.5. At this point, Lawrence is the only sure thing, barring a long-term deal. Bell, Robinson, and Joyner are strong possibilities. Fuller and Gano could happen as well. Eight could be the ceiling, which means that up to six more tags could be coming in the next two days.
Of course, in the effort to by comprehensive, we’ve probably overlooked someone. Feel free to point out the omission in the comments. As if you ever need to be asked.