Players Likely To Get Slapped With Franchise or Transition Tag

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, teams can officially place the franchise tag on a player scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. The deadline to use the tag is 4 pm EST on March 5.

Franchise tag figures are based upon the top five salaries at each respective position.

Here are the projected franchise tag numbers for 2019, via OverTheCap:

Teams and their franchise player will have until July 15th to agree to a long-term extension. Last offseason, four players got a franchise tag and only Jarvis Landry, who was traded, got a long-term extension.

This offseason, the franchise tag will be busier. We could end up seeing as many as 9-12 players getting slapped with the franchise tag. Let’s take a look…

DeMarcus Lawrence

Lawrence played out 2018 on a franchise tag ($17.1M), meaning another franchise tag in 2019 would cost the Cowboys roughly $20.5M (120% increase of the 2019 number). Lawrence didn’t mind getting the tag last season and was ready to prove himself to Jerry Jones. He did just that, racking up 10.5 sacks and consistently finding his way into the backfield. The Cowboys don’t want Lawrence to reach the open market so placing the tag and trying to work out a long-term deal makes the most sense.

Nick Foles

Everyone should know this one by now. If the Eagles tag Nick Foles (for $25M+), their plan is to trade him, likely for a 3rd-round pick. The Jaguars are the team to watch.

Dee Ford

Chiefs GM Brett Veach said he’s “excited” about bringing Dee Ford back, meaning Ford is likely to get the tag. Ford put up 13 sacks in 2018 and was a bright spot in the struggling Chiefs defense. His offside penalty in the AFC Championship Game was a tough pill to swallow, but he had a strong season nonetheless. Expect Ford to get the franchise tag.

Frank Clark

Clark has racked up 32 sacks over the last three years in Seattle. HC Pete Carroll said the team is “counting on” Clark coming back, so a franchise tag is the likely option. Clark, just 26 years old, tweeted last month that he played with an elbow injury in 2018 that kept him at 60%. Barring a long term extension before July 15th, Clark will enter 2019 healthy with a chance to cash in next year.

Jadeveon Clowney

The former first overall pick had some health concerns in his early years, but has come back with two very strong campaigns. Clowney was named to his third straight Pro Bowl after recording 9 sacks this season for Houston. The interesting question surrounding Clowney is if he’s considered a DE or LB. A DEs franchise tag is projected to be $3M more than LBs.

Grady Jarrett

The Falcons have been trying to lock up Garrett for over a year now. Still unsuccessful, Jarrett is likely headed towards a franchise tag and more extension talks from there. The former 5th-round pick doesn’t get much recognition but is a beast for the Falcons defensive line. He’s unlikely to get Aaron Donald type money but a Fletcher Cox type of deal makes sense.

Landon Collins

The Giants reportedly spoke to teams prior to the trade deadline about a potential Landon Collins trade. Nothing came to fruition and Collins finished the season with the Giants. It’s difficult to imagine the Giants letting Collins walk for nothing. He’s a leader in the secondary and a fan favorite in New York. We’ll see if GM Dave Gettleman tears everything down, but keeping the 25-year old safety should be a priority.

Donovan Smith

Smith is arguably the best OT in this year’s free agent market. Reports came out last week that the Bucs will tag Smith if no long-term deal gets done. It makes sense. Smith has started all 64 games since Tampa Bay drafted him four years ago.

CJ Mosley

 New Ravens GM Eric DeCosta has said keeping Mosley a priority. If he doesn’t get a long-term deal done before March 5th, expect the Ravens to slap the tag. 

LeVeon Bell

Bell won’t get the franchise tag this year but there is a chance he gets the transition tag from the Steelers. The transition tag would allow Bell to hit free agency and agree to a deal with a team. The Steelers would have 5 days to decide if they want to match the offer. The Steelers could end up matching the offer and then try to trade Bell to that team. If Pittsburgh doesn’t match the offer, Bell would go to that team and the Steelers don’t get any compensation. 

Other potential franchise tag candidates: 

  • Patriots DL Trey Flowers or K Stephen Gostkowski
  • 49ers K Robbie Gould
  • Bears S Adrian Amos (unlikely)
  • Rams G Roger Saffold
  • Raiders TE Jared Cook

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