The window for applying franchise and transition tags opened six days ago. To date, no tags have been applied.
It’s no surprise. As we’ve said in past years, the opening of the window is irrelevant. The closing of the window is the key. That’s the deadline, and it’s a deadline-driven business.
Teams will still apply the tag early, for various reasons. In some cases, it sends a message to the player and his representation that a deal isn’t getting done, at least not now. In other cases, it sends a clear signal to those who may be tampering with the player under the assumption that he’ll hit the open market.
Some players will sign a long-term deal in lieu of being tagged. Some teams try to do that in order to use the tag on another player. Other teams should consider it, as the Cowboys should this year, in order to avoid using the second tag on a player. If, for example, the Cowboys tag quarterback Dak Prescott again, his next franchise tag at any point in his career will entail a 44-percent raise over his prior-year cap number.
While any of the potentially tagged players can be tagged at any time, the deadline is eight days away. Hopefully by then the teams will know the salary cap for 2021, since the base franchise tender at all positions become a percentage of the cap.