Tag, You’re It: Franchise Tag Update – 2017 NFL Offseason

By Ha Kung Wong 

Twitter: @FBGarbageTime

Fun fun!  The Franchise Tag deadline is just around the corner!

Teams are required to apply the franchise tag by 4 PM ET on Wednesday, March 1st.  And if they do so, they have until July 15th to work out a long-term deal, or proceed on the one-year deal.

UPDATE: And the tag deadline has passed, so the list of tagged players below is now FINAL.

But what does all this Franchise Tag stuff mean?  Let me try to help.

An Exclusive Franchise Tag provides the tagged player a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position as of the end of restricted free agency of the current year (April 21 this year) in which the tag will apply, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. The tagged player cannot negotiate with other teams.

A Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag provides the tagged player a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position last year, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater.  It sounds like it’s calculated similarly to the Exclusive Franchise Tag, but ends up being slightly less at each position.  As an example, in 2014, QBs received $16.91M as an exclusive tag while getting $16.08M as a non-exclusive tag.  In exchange for the slightly lesser offer, a non-exclusive franchise player may negotiate with other NFL teams, but if the player signs an offer sheet from another team, the original team has a right to match the terms of that offer, or if it does not match the offer and thus loses the player, is entitled to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.

Here are the numbers released by the NFL:

Remember, until the Tag is signed, the team offering CAN rescind it.  That’s exactly what the Carolina Panthers did to Josh Norman last year.  So none of this is set in stone yet.

And without further to do, here’s who’s been tagged so far in the 2017 NFL offseason including their 2016 stats.

Arizona Cardinals – Chandler Jones – OLB

Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag

2016 Stats: 16 Games, 38 Tackles, 11 Assisted Tackles, 11 Sacks, 3 Pass Defenses, 4 Forced Fumbles

Carolina Panthers – Kawann Short – DL

Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag

2016 Stats: 16 Games, 30 Tackles, 25 Assisted Tackles, 6 Sacks, 3 Pass Defenses

Pittsburgh Steelers – Le’Veon Bell – RB

Exclusive Franchise Tag

2016 Stats: 12 games, 1268 rush yards, 7 rushing TDs, 616 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs

New York Giants – Jason Pierre-Paul – DE

Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag

2016 Stats: 12 Games, 35 Tackles, 18 Assisted Tackles, 7 Sacks, 8 Pass Defenses

Los Angeles Chargers – Melvin Ingram – OLB

Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag

2016 Stats: 16 Games, 46 Tackles, 14 Assisted Tackles, 8 Sacks, 5 Pass Defenses

UPDATE – February 28th

Washington Redskins – Kirk Cousins – QB

Exclusive Franchise Tag

2016 Stats: 16 Games, 4,917 Passing Yards, 25 Passing TDs, 12 INTs, 96 Rushing Yards, 4 Rushing TDs

Update – March 10

And after all the turmoil in Washington, including the firing of their GM, at least they now have Cousins.  Whether they keep him for one more year or trade him though remains to be seen.

Kansas City Chiefs – Dontari Poe – DT

LIKELY Franchise Tag

2016 Stats: 16 Games, 18 Tackles, 9 Assisted Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 3 Pass Defenses, 1 Forced Fumble

The Kansas City Chiefs had a problem.  They needed to retain both Eric Berry and Dontari Poe, both of which were unrestricted free agents and both of which were incredibly important to the recent and future success of the Chiefs Defense.  They can’t tag both, and Berry has gone so far as to say that he’d rather sit out the season than play under another franchise tag.  Well, problem solved.

With Berry taken care of, it’s almost a certainty that the Chiefs will tag Poe and take some time to try and work out a long term deal before the deadline.

UPDATE – February 29

Los Angeles Rams – Trumaine Johnson – CB

Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag

2016 Stats: 14 Games, 47 Tackles, 10 Assisted Tackles, 11 Pass Defenses, 1 INT

Another member of the “double franchise tag club”, Johnson will now become the highest paid CB in the league at $16.7M, assuming he doesn’t agree to a long term deal before the July 15th deadline.  He only had 1 INT in 2016, but had 15 total INTs in his previous 4 seasons, including two returned for TDs.  He’s the first CB to get franchise tagged in back-to-back years since Charles Woodson in 2004 and 2005.

And in a surprising move, the Kansas City Chiefs did NOT franchise tag Dontari Poe.

Update – March 6

Trumaine Johnson has signed his franchise tag tender with the Rams.

Apparently, Kawann Short might not be too far behind in signing his franchise tag tender with the Panthers as well.

Update – March 7

And now the Rams might trade Trumaine Johnson…

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Keep checking back and we’ll keep you updated on all the 2017 Franchise Tag information!

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