One day left for franchise-tagged players to do long-term deals

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In a deadline-driven business, three teams are driving toward a key deadline.

For Pittsburgh, Washington, and the L.A. Rams, one day remains to sign franchise-tagged players to long-term deals. Specifically, the deadline arrives Monday at 4:00 p.m. ET.

As to the Rams, it’s a non-issue; cornerback Trumaine Johnson won’t trade in a franchise tender of nearly $17 million and a clear shot at the open market in March for a multi-year deal. “Why would he?” a source with knowledge of the situation recently told PFT.

As to Washington, two prior opportunities to get quarterback Kirk Cousins signed or a lot less than what it would cost now didn’t result in a new deal. Why would it now?

As to Pittsburgh, there’s still no indication that the team and running back Le’Veon Bell are making any progress or even having any talks. Given that he’ll make $12.1 million for 2017 and in light of the fact that the current market is 66 percent of that, the Steelers may not be inclined to use the standard approach for turning a tag into a long-term deal (i.e., the current tag plus a 20-percent raise for the next year, fully guaranteed at signing), and Bell would have no reason to agree to any other approach, since he’ll get his $12.1 million now and either a 20-percent raise if tagged again next year or an opportunity to become a free agent.

However it turns out, the clock is ticking more loudly than ever. for all three teams. Don’t be surprised if none of the three tagged players sign long-term contracts before the clock strikes four in New York on Monday.

5 responses to “One day left for franchise-tagged players to do long-term deals

  1. I get that it would suck to lose these guys. But why would you use the tag if it gives the player leverage over you instead of the other way around?

    These teams all made huge mistakes. They should have let these players test the market and then outbid the competition. I don’t think any of these guys get paid this much on the open market.

    The Steelers made the biggest mistake with Bell imo. You just don’t commit that kind of money to a running back anymore no matter how good he is. I think he will be making 4 million more than the next highest paid rb this year. Ridiculous. On the other hand, Bell is the most likely to suffer a serious injury this year and see his market evaporate.

  2. Kirk Cousins? I wouldn’t sign to a long term deal. Let him play out the season and and compete on those merits. He is solid, but not that good. Bell? RBs are a dime a dozen anymore and in these pass hungry offenses? I’d let him walk after a tagged season. Trumaine seems to hold all the cards so….

  3. Since no CB is worth that much, plan on Rams wishing him the best.

    On Cousins, I only wish I understood the sentence.

    Bell will be there in Sept., and you can bet on that.

  4. At this point all these guys are going right to the bank. They will pocket their franchise tag salary for this season and next year will be cashing in with the highest bidder.

    Mark my words, Le’veon Bell is going to turn the running back market on its head next season. You can say all you want about how running backs aren’t worth that much money but Bell is. Odds are, he would be your best receiver on about 20 other teams. This guy is hands down the most talented running back in the game and its not even really close. If he can stay out of trouble and free from injury he is going to get paid next season. Pittsburgh wants his best season from him this year cause Ben is done after this season. He only came back to see if he could beat the Pats with a full plate of weapons. Even if Bell balls out and Ben retires after the season, I don’t think Pitt will even make an offer due to the amount of activity he is going to get when he hits the market and they don’t have the stones to tag him a second year.

  5. Bell will get tagged at least one more time and then shown the door. Some team will pay him big money and as soon as he gets that bonus he will be lucky to play 7-8 games a year, assuming he is not suspended.

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