Window to use franchise tags opens on Tuesday

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
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Tuesday marks an important day on the NFL’s offseason calendar.

It is the first day that teams are allowed to use the franchise or transition tag on impending unrestricted free agents. The window will remain open until March 9.

Most teams will likely wait until closer to that date to use either tag and will use the intervening time to talk to players about long-term contracts. That process is a bit more difficult this year because of uncertainty about what the salary cap will be for the 2021 season.

The NFL and NFLPA have agreed that it will be no lower than $180 million, but will likely be lower than $185 million and that represents a big drop from the $198 million cap for the 2020 season. Salaries for franchise tags are generated by the five-year average cap percentage of the top five salaries at each position. Transition tag salaries are based on the average of the top 10 salaries at the position and offer players the chance to sign an offer sheet with other clubs.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin, Buccaneers pass rusher Shaq Barrett, Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson, Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams, Broncos safety Justin Simmons, and Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay are among some of the top candidates to get the tag. Prescott, Barrett, Williams, and Simmons were among the 15 players tagged last offseason and their tags would be worth 120 percent of their 2020 salaries as a result.

Any player who is tagged has until July 15 to work out a long-term deal with their team and they can also be traded after being tagged, although any deal would require them to sign the tag in order for the trade to become official.

15 responses to “Window to use franchise tags opens on Tuesday

  1. I would think there will be fewer franchise tags put out this year given the relative costs are going to be far higher than normal.

  2. The franchise tag is sometimes a necessary measure, but tagging QBs gets ridiculously expensive and just drives up the market. I don’t know why teams don’t use the transitional tag more.

    For example, Dallas. If they put a transitional tag on Dak then he could explore what the market actually looks like for his services right now. If another team offers him $40 million per year, then more power to them.

    I don’t know who he has advising him, and of course he had no way to predict the pandemic, but as soon as lockdowns started happening and the NFL was predicting revenue losses, his representatives should’ve signed whatever the last offer Dallas made was.

    With the cap going down so much this year those huge contracts aren’t going to be easy to come by.

  3. If Dallas tags Dak again, they can say goodbye to him next year. See the Kirk Cousins example.

    Why would Dak agree to sign with Dallas after being tagged by them twice? He wouldn’t. He’d want to hot the open market to see what he could get. And there’s no way he’d get tagged for a third time.

    I can’t believe teams think tagging a player twice is a good strategy. It seems like you end up paying more than if you just signed the player to a deal.

  4. Don’t pay a good player Superstar Money.

    Trade up in this Year’s draft and get one of the QBs Trey Lance, Zach Wilson.

    Prescott is good, but giving him close to Mahomes Money is crazy.

  5. I think there’s another big elephant in the room – the >$180m min seems artificially high and, irrc, in order to set it that high for 2021, the NFLPA had to agree to be borrowing from years ahead. If so, the Cap’n Crunch is going to be on the roster diet for at least a few years.

  6. If the rules allow it, I would transition tag Prescott. His turning down $35/5 two years running is baffling.

    I don’t see any team who would sign him, let alone for anything close to that amount. Let him find that out for sure and then tell him to take the deal or walk.

    If they can’t manage to get Mac Jones this year, another QB will come along.

  7. eyeH8whitey says:
    February 23, 2021 at 8:12 am

    steelers need to tag big ben.

    =====================================================================================

    ummm.. he’s not a free agent. He has a contract. How could they possibly tag someone that is under contract?

  8. AFW AFW says:

    February 23, 2021 at 8:29 am

    The franchise tag is sometimes a necessary measure, but tagging QBs gets ridiculously expensive and just drives up the market. I don’t know why teams don’t use the transitional tag more.

    For example, Dallas. If they put a transitional tag on Dak then he could explore what the market actually looks like for his services right now. If another team offers him $40 million per year, then more power to them.

    I don’t know who he has advising him, and of course he had no way to predict the pandemic, but as soon as lockdowns started happening and the NFL was predicting revenue losses, his representatives should’ve signed whatever the last offer Dallas made was.

    With the cap going down so much this year those huge contracts aren’t going to be easy to come by.
    ——
    Because if you use the transitional tag you likely will lose the player, that’s not that hard to figure out. Players salaries arent determined by what the fans want to say is too much

  9. If what I read on PFT the other day the other day is true and the NFL wants to DOUBLE it’s tv revenue if I’m a free agent I’m going to think twice about signing a long term contract. This salary cap may someday just go through the roof.

  10. I have been a Cowboy fan since day 1. I was at the very first exhibition game the Cowboys ever played. My dad took me. I got hook on the ‘Boys. My kids grew up loving the Cowboys. We decorated the Christmas tree in Cowboys colors. But you have to face facts. The Cowboys under Jerry Jones have been a huge financial success, but there success on the field has been declining for some time. His choices of coach the Cowboys are highly suspect. He doesn’t choose coaches on there ability to coach, he chooses coaches who will let Jerry have the final say about everything Dallas Cowboy. They must be subservient to Jerry at all times. That’s a real problem. The Cowboys draw big ratings on TV. But you need success on the field too. You want to draw other players to your team as free agents who want to play for a winner and get a ring. Now it seems every Cowboy want money above all. Damn the playing for a winner, damn the ring, just show me the money, and I want more that my fair share! This is how teams get destroyed from within.

  11. Football is a team support. Teams have got to have a strong mix of good players on rookie contracts to offset the overpaid skill positions to be competitive and paying over 12% of the cap for a QB with non top tier skills, will destroy any hopes for post team victories marching to the Super Bowl. This mistake lands mostly on the inept GM and secondly on a QB that can’t carry a team that has carried him for 4 years! And if Dak continues to be a pain in the arse haggling over his potential contract/tag tender, then the Cowboys if they can, should trade him. The Cowboys can place a non exclusive Tag on him at this point where they could get draft picks if & when a Team signs him or meet the price. Dalton can lead the Cowboys effectively with some better skilled players via the draft and the improvement health wise of existing players, and those who got needed reps last season. This maybe the only real option the Cowboys have with their small Cap room and reduction from last year. Signing Dak means some good players will not be signed and restructuring contracts for cap room is deferring the problem to come home to roost down the road. Jerry has done that before and the record suffered for it.

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