Atlanta Falcons unlikely to use franchise tag before Tuesday deadline
The deadline for NFL teams to designate the franchise tag is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
NFL teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to designate the franchise tag, but it’s unlikely the Atlanta Falcons will do so.
Using the franchise tag means a pending free agent is guaranteed to remain with their team for at least one season. It’s a costly move, however, as the player must be paid either the average salary of the top five cap hits at their position, or 120 percent of their current salary (whichever is higher). When signed, the salary is fully guaranteed.
Often, players and teams want the long-term taken care of. Teams don’t want their tagged player to become a free agent a year down the line, and the player wants long-term cover in case of a serious injury or drop in form. After a team designates the franchise tag, they have until July 15 to get a long-term contract agreed, or the tag comes into play.
It’s unlikely the Falcons will use it this year; it’s simply too expensive. For example, applying the tag on Adrian Clayborn would require paying him a salary in the range of J.J. Watt‘s.
There are a number of stars across the league that have until 4 p.m. to agree a long-term deal or get tagged. Von Miller will likely get tagged in Denver if a long-term contract isn’t agreed. If they fail to beat the clock, the Broncos would run the risk of losing him next week in free agency. The same situation is true in Carolina with cornerback Josh Norman.
So far, three players have been tagged in the league: DE Muhammad Wilkerson of the New York Jets, WR Alshon Jeffery of the Chicago Bears and K Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens. Who is next?
Franchise tag candidates across the league
OT Cordy Glenn, Buffalo Bills
CB Trumaine Johnson, Los Angeles Rams
LB Von Miller, Denver Broncos
CB Josh Norman, Carolina Panthers
S Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs
QB Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
WR Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
K Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
DE Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets
Next: Is adding a tight end necessary for Falcons?
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