The Tuesday deadline for NFL teams to use their franchise tags has come and gone and there are some players who are about to be paid some big-time money. Ten different players received the franchise tag from their respective teams. Before we get into who got tagged, let’s first define what exactly a franchise tag is.
Exclusive Franchise Tag: This tag allows teams to retain their best unrestricted free agent with the chance to negotiate a long-term deal. Teams have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal and if one is not reached, the player remains with the team for the upcoming season with no negotiations until after the season. The one-year contracts are worth either the average salaries of the top five players at the player’s position or 120% of their previous salary, whichever number happens to be higher.
Non-exclusive Tag: This tag allows other teams to negotiate with the unrestricted free agents, but the player’s team has the right to match any offer sheet. If the team elects to not match the offer sheet they will receive two first round picks as compensation.
Transition Tag: This tag is pretty much the same thing as the non-exclusive tags, with the only difference being that the original team doesn’t receive compensation.
Who’s got tagged?
QB Kirk Cousins – QB – Washington Redskins: This was the best move possible for both of the involved parties. Cousins was hit with the non-exclusive franchise tag, but is reportedly going to sign the tender. This allows the Redskins to see if Cousins is worth the long-term investment and money coming off his stellar 2015 campaign. The tag is worth $19.953 million.
Von Miller – OLB – Denver Broncos: Seems odd for the Super Bowl MVP to be tagged, but Denver had other issues to tend to and the tag allows them to retain the services of Miller. Denver’s vaunted defense could take a hit as defensive end Malik Jackson could hit the free agency open market.
Josh Norman – CB – Carolina Panthers: The two sides weren’t able to agree to a long-term deal so the Panthers decided to place the franchise tag on one of the better corner backs in the NFL, with the hopes of a long-term deal happening.
Eric Berry – S – Kansas City Chiefs: Berry is arguably the heart and soul of this team and was the Comeback Player of the Year in 2015 after returning to the field from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He not only was copy but he also went to the Pro Bowl. Berry got the non-exclusive tag, giving the Chiefs the opportunity to match any offer. If a long-term deal isn’t reached by the July 15 deadline, Berry will make $10.806 million next season.
Alshon Jeffery – WR – Chicago Bears: Chicago wants to keep Jeffery, who is a top-notch wide receiver in the NFL, but whether or not he can stay healthy might be what drives the two parties to not reach a long-term deal. Jeffery can go elsewhere, if a team is willing to give up two first round picks. Jeffery will make $14.599 million this upcoming season if a deal does not get done.
Justin Tucker – K – Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens wanted to ensure they kept one of the best kickers in the NFL and will do so at the cost of $4.572 million, barring a long-term deal doesn’t get reached.
Muhammad Wilkerson – DE – New York Jets: The Jets made it clear they didn’t want the talented defensive end to go anywhere and gave him the franchise tag. He will be owed $15.07 this season if he and the Jets do not come to terms on a new deal.
Cordy Glenn – T – Buffalo Bills: Glen has developed into one of the best tackles in the NFL and this is good news for Buffalo and quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The Bills will give Glenn $13.952 million this season.
Trumaine Johnson – CB – Los Angeles Rams: For the Rams, it basically came down to keeping Johnson or fellow cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and LA chose Johnson.
Oliver Vernon – DE – Miami Dolphins: Miami gave Vernon the transition tag, worth $12.7 million. There is speculation that Vernon could go elsewhere, with Miami having the option to match an offer sheet, but that might not be likely as Vernon could get paid big-time money, a price Miami might not want to pay.