Josh Allen doesn’t think franchise tag is good for team or player

AFC Championship - Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs
Getty Images

Bills quarterback Josh Allen likely won’t have the franchise tag applied to him. Which would be fine by him.

Asked on the 10 Question with Kyle Brandt podcast about the possibility of the device that has kept multiple franchise quarterbacks in place over the past two decades, Allen initially said, “Eww.”

He then said more.

I don’t think it’s great for the team, nor the player,” Allen explained, via NFL.com. “Again, I need to do more research on it, but if you look at the guys that’ve been tags in the past couple years, as far as the quarterback position goes, it was Dak [Prescott], and Kirk Cousins. And at the end of the day, you could make the case that they should’ve just done the deal the year prior, or a couple years prior. So it is what it is. At the end of the day, whatever happens, happens. It’s not gonna deter me from trying to be the best quarterback for the Bills.”

If/when Allen does more research, here’s what he’ll learn.

First, it’s bad for the player (and good for the team) for the first year, because it keeps him from getting a long-term deal and forces him to carry the risk of injury and sudden, Carson Wentz-style ineffectiveness before getting a major payday.

Second, it’s great for the player (and bad for the team) in the second year, because it forces the team into a corner. If the team wants to keep the player over the long haul, the leverage that comes from the possibility of becoming a free agent in the third year of the franchise tag (given the looming 44-percent increase over the second tag) can shoot the player to the top of the market, like it did for Prescott.

The best outcome for both sides is for the team to get the guy signed ASAFP, once the team knows that their guy is The Guy. As the Cowboys learned the hard way, and as everyone else should have learned by watching the Cowboys learn their hard lesson, the passage of time never makes the price go down — and always makes the price go up.

This year, the reduced salary cap makes it harder to do a major quarterback contract. The Cowboys found a way to do it with Dak because they had to. The Bills likely can get away with waiting for a year and then putting together an offer based on the prevailing market at the time or, quite possibly, a sum of the option-year salary and a pair of franchise tags over the first three years of a long-term contract. (Still, waiting a year quite possibly will make a second contract more expensive, absent injury or regression.)

There’s also a chance that, with Allen and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield currently up for new deals, no one wants to go first. From the player/agent perspective, no one wants to sign a contract that quickly becomes leapfrogged by a peer’s new deal.

Finally, there’s a chance that the Bills simply want to see whether Allen can repeat what he did in 2020. The Wentz and Jared Goff second contracts, given after only three years, provided a strong cautionary tale for any team thinking about rushing in with a market-level deal that it’s possible the team will soon regret it.

For Buffalo (and Cleveland and Baltimore), the key becomes finding the sweet spot between regret for moving too fast and regret (like the Cowboys are experience) for moving too slowly.

37 responses to “Josh Allen doesn’t think franchise tag is good for team or player

  1. The Cowboys will regret putting all their eggs in the Prescott basket…and what the Cowboys regret is good news to me.

  2. Bottom line is that it’s always a gamble. The team is betting that their forecast of how much the player is worth is correct.
    If you get it wrong one way you pay too much.You get it wrong the other way you lose the franchise player to another team.

  3. I’d rather my team move too fast than too slow. All waiting does is allow you more time to evaluate, while also creating drama for the team, and driving the price way up on the contract you’re already hesitant to sign. If you move too fast and make a mistake, you can always cut bait but hopefully you’l get some picks back for the player along with the dead contract you have to carry.

  4. The Wentz and Jared Goff second contracts, given after only three years, provided a strong cautionary tale.

    ——-

    Do they though? Goff was fine until the Rams gave Gurley a huge contract and he got hurt. No real threat in the backfield and no 1st round picks for many years is the real tale there.

    And Philly is a wreck of an organization. I’m really not sure how the WFT and the Texans catch so much flack while Philly seems to fly under the radar no matter how incompetent that front office and ownership is. Taking a QB in the second round when you already have your franchise QB? How about a WR or a lineman to help him instead?

  5. Tagging players, especially QBs, just drives up the price of the contract (if there ultimately is one with that player) and drives up the overall market price for that position.

    Remember, it was only the 2016 offseason when the Texans traded for Osweiler and his overall deal was for less than $20 million over four years. Cousins getting tagged two years in a row by the WTF drove up the overall QB market price – he got ~$28 million per year when he signed with Minnesota.

    There are times when it helps a team keep a player, but to my (extremely non-expert) eye, teams would always do better to look long-term and realize that paying out a little more over 3-5 years is cheaper than tagging a guy to keep him.

  6. The franchise tag is good for Washington, because KirK Cousins turns out not to be a bust. The franchise tag is bad for Dallas because they are overpaying Dak Prescott. He is overrated and overpaid, and Dallas will be stuck with him and cannot move him because of his big salary. Without the franchise tag, teams have no bargaining chip. They can either pay the players what they ask for or let them walk. Now they can get him to stay one to 2 more years.

    The smart way to deal with a player who will merit a huge contract is to acquire (either through trade or the draft) a potential replacement. The Raiders for example traded for Raymond Chester when Dave Casper was blossoming. Frisco is doing the same by trading up to draft a quarterback. When Jimmy G.’s contract expires after 2022, they will have a successor ready (knock on wood), instead of having to franchise tag him or pay him what Dak Prescott is getting, if Jimmy G. still has not won a Super Bowl by then. But if he has won 1 or two Super Bowls by then, he may get a huge pay day anyway.

  7. “ Yesterday, Josh Allen was commenting on vaccines. Today, the franchise tag. May be a good time to read his playbook.”

    Both questions were done during the same interview. Both questions being overly analyzed because they got nothing else to report. Vaccine should be decided by the person and I agree on that statement eventhough I am pro vaccine. Its just media fodder to make controversy when there is none. As for the tag he was asked about it but if you are a bills follower you know that they are working on a deal already for him and he still has his 5th year option plus the franchise tag if the bills went that route but clearly they want to pay him long term as they know the price will only be that much more with other qbs getting paid at a later date. Best to get it over now at 160 mil when in a year or 2 it could be at 200

  8. Prescott has a great new contract this should encourage him enough to make a solid 8-8 season for Jerry and the Boys.

  9. scarletknight says:
    April 8, 2021 at 9:01 am
    Yesterday, Josh Allen was commenting on vaccines. Today, the franchise tag. May be a good time to read his playbook.

    ________________________________

    Josh can walk, chew bubble gum, have other human interactions and read his playbook.

  10. Josh Allen comes off to me as a guy who wants to quantify every opinion he has so he can do more research and not offend, I m not impressed.

  11. Josh Allen is the real thing. Give him his money now. Commit to the guy. A market like Buffalo needs Allen. He loves the city. Time to love him. Contract for 5 years with incentives to get up to Prescott’s level. Next year with more cap money the franchise quarterback price goes up and up and up.

  12. Josh Allen is a great American. He was never anybody’s darling of the month. He has earned his new found influence by grinding it out and stellar play. Like all sports figures who are letting their voices be heard, he will not be kept down by naysayers and fear-mongers. Speak your truth, Josh! Be free!

  13. Just read an article how Matt Ryan’s contract and four salary cap renegotiations have them completely hamstrung for the next two years as his salary cap hit exceeds his salary.
    Meanwhile, the talent on the defense is extremely suspect because they cannot afford good players.

    Teams must be willing to develop QBs and let over-priced stars hit the open market. We need to get over the QB job for life mentality for all but the one or two most gifted guys (currently Mahomes and TBD). If you are not in the club, you are a rental.

  14. I think the young QBs need to prove it for two years, minimum. Maybe three, depending upon coach, system, and surrounding talent. Definitely not just one.

    I don’t think it would be crazy for Buffalo, Baltimore or Cleveland to sign their QBs to long-term deals this year, but I totally understand waiting another year in all three cases. Lamar Jackson is the closest (of those three) to a proven commodity, IMO, but his style leave him the most open to serious career-ending injury. Baker is the least sure thing of the three, but a great rookie year and a very good year three, sandwiching his distracted/disappointing year two…he’s proven he can be a top-10 QB when he is focused.

  15. (cont.) Josh Allen can (and probably should) be signed ASAP. He’s done nothing but get better and better for his first three seasons.

  16. They didn’t take the out provided but the Dak situation is a great example of how the tag can help a team. Dallas tagged him and he immediately had a serious injury; they could have been free of him if they wanted with no long-term salary cap repercussions. They did eventually sign him to that huge deal but easy to argue they were largely bidding against themselves. I’m doubting he gets that big a deal from anybody else coming off that sort of injury.

  17. One word: Greed, Two words: Tom Brady. Three words: Multiple Super Bowls. In the salary cap era you cannot have one player eat up 20% of your salary cap like a QB and expect to have someone to block for you, someone to catch passes, someone to run the ball, someone to play defense. Tom Brady’s greatness will be defined mostly for his play on the field, but the secret to his success is he never needed to break the bank and realized he had more money than he would ever need and/or created other revenue streams for himself that came from his on field success. He bet on himself and won. Why doesn’t Aaron Rogers have premiere receivers to throw to? Bad drafting priorities for one, but he eats up a lot of the salary cap. Why is Russell Wilson so unhappy about being hit and knocked down so much? Not enough money to pay offensive linemen. The list can go on and on but the point is there has to be enough money to pay for quality at other positions.

  18. Because Cousins and Prescott are not 1st round qbs and therefore not eligible for 5th year options, their teams had to resort to the franchise tag quicker. But a 1st rounder has 5 years to prove himself before making a deal or getting tagged.

    Whether the tag is good for the player or good for the team, however, depends entirely on how good the player is. If he is top 5 at his position, like Mahomes for example, the tag would have been good for the team/bad for the player. This is because Mahomes would have been underpaid on the franchise tag, and this gives the team some leverage to negotiate a deal, though in that specific case, they didn’t need it.

    But if he is not top 5 at his position, like Cousins, the tag is great for the player, because he gets all the leverage in negotiations because the team either lets him hit free agency or they massively overpay on 1 year deals before he hits free agency anyway. All it does is put more and more pressure on the team to pay, or lose their good but not great QB to another team.

  19. “From the player/agent perspective, no one wants to sign a contract that quickly becomes leapfrogged by a peer’s new deal.”

    Why wouldn’t they, other than player’s ego and agent’s concern for their rep (and quite frankly, a player needs to control his agent enough that the agent’s concern for his rep is not a factor.

    Brady took lower, but reasonable, salaries over the years, and traded things off with no tag/no trade clauses. The net result was that, when the team around him sucked, he was able to move on by being patient for a year while his existing contact ran it’s course and expired, and it made him an attractive hire because teams didn’t have to trade for him, nor did they have to eat up huge existing salaries and/or caps. A little less ego, a little more patience and a little more horse-sense might go a long way for these guys. Maybe they can ask their agents, “how can we set up an easy end-game situation if I want to move on from the team? Wilson and Watson could both have benefited from less ego and more long term planning.

  20. supercharger says:
    April 8, 2021 at 8:32 am
    The Wentz and Jared Goff second contracts, given after only three years, provided a strong cautionary tale.

    ——-

    Do they though? Goff was fine until the Rams gave Gurley a huge contract and he got hurt. No real threat in the backfield and no 1st round picks for many years is the real tale there.

    —-

    Goff was “fine” until the Patriots’ defense broke him. He has never been the same.

  21. Why not just transition tag and get the offer to match rather than overpay?

  22. I bet Kirk Cousins would argue differently. He played the Franchise Tag like a video game and won big

  23. The Bills can and should wait. Josh Allen will get his money and the Bills can pay him whatever the market value is. Mahomes has set the rate. If Allen surpases Mahomes and wins a SB, that’s music to Bills Mafia’s ears. Let him do it first. Otherwise, he is in the Watson/Prescott price range, perhaps a bit higher.

    As Josh said, Beane is good at what he does. There isn’t and shouldn’t be any sweat over this deal. Allen can wait. The Bills can wait. Allen isn’t going anywhere. He will get paid. In fact, I believe he will take a reasonable deal, just based on his personality (reasonable as in Watson range).

    And in response to all of this. “Ew” is because no one wants to be controlled. The Franchise tag, by definition, gives the power to the Franchise. The player makes what the league has pre-determined. Just as the league pre-determines what rookies make.

    Of course a player would say “ew”. Especially a dominant one.

  24. 2ruefan says:
    April 8, 2021 at 7:06 am

    Bottom line is that it’s always a gamble. The team is betting that their forecast of how much the player is worth is correct.
    If you get it wrong one way you pay too much.You get it wrong the other way you lose the franchise player to another team.

    —————–

    Okay, but what franchise QB has been lost to another team? Brees is the only one that comes to mind.

  25. numbers says:
    April 8, 2021 at 12:27 pm
    2ruefan says:
    April 8, 2021 at 7:06 am

    Bottom line is that it’s always a gamble. The team is betting that their forecast of how much the player is worth is correct.
    If you get it wrong one way you pay too much.You get it wrong the other way you lose the franchise player to another team.

    —————–

    Okay, but what franchise QB has been lost to another team? Brees is the only one that comes to mind.

    —–

    Steve Young
    Brett Favre

    More recently:

    Ryan Tannehill
    Tom Brady

  26. Steve Young
    Brett Favre

    More recently:

    Ryan Tannehill
    Tom Brady

    ——————–

    I guess I will kind of give you Tannehill. Young was nothing when he was lost. I’m assuming you mean Favre when he was a Falcon. Also a nothing. Brady is past his prime. That’s a different story. Hope that’s not moving the goal posts for you, but I mean a in-his-prime QB, that plays at a high level.

  27. Josh Allen comes off to me as a guy who wants to quantify every opinion he has so he can do more research and not offend, I m not impressed.
    ———————————————

    So you’d rather him be ignorant? People bitch about younger generations rushing into things too much and this guy prefers to fully educate himself prior to making life changing decisions and that bothers you? Good for you Josh. I am now a bigger fan of this guy who just seems very down to earth even with his successes.

  28. I thought teams could opt for a 6th year on a rookie contract – for first round draft picks.

  29. Qbs given too much money too soon Mahomes, Watson, Kaepernick, Goff, Trubisky, and Wentz…. Prescott was too much money but it wasn’t too soon just too much…

  30. All of these 3 QBs are going to make big money. They’ve all earned it in their first 3 yrs of performance. In terms of pay hierarchy I say IA. Lamar, 1B. Allen followed by 2. Baker would be fair just contextually speaking in what they bring to their franchises and their accomplishments in the W category.

  31. “Goff was “fine” until the Patriots’ defense broke him. He has never been the same.”
    ________________________

    Oh, please. He’s the same QB he has always been. He was never upper-tier.

  32. What, exactly, has Lamar done other than (season) MVP? He’s lost more playoff games?

  33. His numbers dramatically improved. Waiting another season can be expensive. I would have my defense fully test him in practice. Still playing at high level – sign him.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.