Franchise tag predictions: 14 groups that would use it

Will the Philadelphia Eagles discover a commerce accomplice for quarterback Nick Foles? The clock begins ticking Tuesday, when the NFL’s window for placing franchise tags on gamers opens.

The franchise tag is a labor designation that restricts a participant’s potential motion in alternate for a excessive one-year wage. Every group can put the franchise tag on one pending free agent, a choice that’s costly but in addition offers huge leverage in opposition to shedding a participant, making certain the group a hefty return if that participant finally departs.

Groups have till March 5 (at four p.m. ET) to place franchise tags on their Most worthy gamers.

The anticipated wage for quarterbacks with the franchise designation in 2019 is $25 million. The Eagles’ commerce choices hinge on the franchise designation — they cannot carry Foles on the books at that quantity as a backup to Carson Wentz. But when there may be competitors amongst quarterback-needy groups who want to signal Foles, the Eagles can put the tag on him after which make a commerce.

Professional Bowl defenders Jadeveon Clowney and C.J. Mosley are among the many different gamers who’re candidates to be tagged this offseason.

NFL Nation reporters predict whether or not groups will use the tag and, if that’s the case, on which gamers (in alphabetical order by group):

Defensive deal with Grady Jarrett

The Falcons hold saying that signing Jarrett to a long-term extension is a high precedence, but it surely hasn’t occurred simply but. Talks have been tabled throughout the season however must be in full swing now after the group cleared greater than $15 million in cap area following the releases of CB Robert Alford, Okay Matt Bryant and DE Brooks Reed. If the perimeters do not come to an settlement, tagging Jarrett at a worth of round $15.5 million for 2019 could possibly be an possibility, though the Falcons have not used the tag freely through the years.

Prediction: Based mostly on the Falcons’ historical past with their marquee gamers, anticipate Jarrett to get a long-term deal that retains the group from utilizing the franchise tag. — Vaughn McClure

Linebacker C.J. Mosley

New Ravens basic supervisor Eric DeCosta would not deny that the tag is in play for Mosley. It is simply not very sensible. Utilizing the projected $15 million tag on Mosley would eat up greater than half of Baltimore’s accessible cap area. Mosley is the main tackler for the NFL’s top-ranked protection and he is one of many core leaders on the group. However there could possibly be debate whether or not Mosley deserves to be the highest-paid center linebacker within the recreation. Requested if the Ravens would take into account the tag for Mosley, DeCosta mentioned, “I believe every part is on the desk proper now. I actually hope that C.J. is again. I imagine in my coronary heart that he might be.”

Prediction: The Ravens will not put the franchise tag on Mosley, however they’ll find yourself retaining him in free company. All sides are optimistic about getting a deal executed. –– Jamison Hensley

Defensive finish DeMarcus Lawrence

The Cowboys wish to keep away from placing the tag on Lawrence for a second yr. He made $17.1 million in 2018 on the tag and would make $20.5 million in 2019. The Cowboys wished to see if Lawrence might repeat his manufacturing from 2017 and he did, placing up 10.5 sacks with 39 quarterback pressures and incomes a second Professional Bowl nod. A yr in the past, there appeared to be little hope a long-term deal could possibly be executed. This yr, there appears be somewhat extra optimism, even with a good window to barter. If the Cowboys use the tag on Lawrence once more, they run the chance of him not displaying for the offseason program, minicamp, coaching camp and doubtlessly regular-season video games.

Prediction: The Cowboys know it will likely be pricey, however finally a contract must be finalized, and so they will not use the tag. — Todd Archer

Defensive finish Jadeveon Clowney

To be decided is whether or not he’ll be tagged as a defensive finish or a linebacker, and the distinction is roughly $1 million. Clowney has 18.5 sacks the previous two seasons and has missed just one recreation in that span after lacking 17 in his first three seasons. He has turn into a significant disruptor and the Texans would like to hold him paired with a wholesome J.J. Watt. Clowney stepped up because the Texans’ high pass-rusher when Watt missed 11 video games in 2017. The Texans have roughly $64 million in cap area so it will not be a pressure to tag him, which might give them further time to work out a long-term deal.

Prediction: Anticipate the Texans to make use of the tag on Clowney. — Michael DiRocco

Exterior linebacker Dee Ford

The Chiefs seem motivated to retain Ford, whether or not that is on a long-term contract or because the franchise participant. Ford would value about $15 million on the franchise tag. He indicated throughout the season that he would signal the tender if he is tagged, calling that call a “no-brainer.” It will be a disgrace for the Chiefs to look at Ford play for an additional group after he lastly fulfilled the promise that led them to draft him within the first spherical in 2014. “After we drafted Dee just a few years in the past, all these issues that we envisioned for him, he type of confirmed that he was that participant. … We’re enthusiastic about bringing him again,” basic supervisor Brett Veach mentioned.

Prediction: Search for the Chiefs to tag Ford, absent a long-term deal. — Adam Teicher

Exterior linebacker Dante Fowler Jr

The Rams have made a behavior lately of utilizing the franchise tag, most just lately on security Lamarcus Joyner and beforehand on cornerback Trumaine Johnson (in back-to-back seasons). However this season, the tag could possibly be used on Fowler. The Rams traded for Fowler at midseason as a short-term rental and the previous first-round choose supplied a wanted presence from the sting. If the Rams tag Fowler, it in all probability can be at the price of a defensive finish, which might quantity to greater than $17 million. That is a steep price ticket on a roster that is additionally in want of a defensive deal with and doubtlessly a security. In 10 video games with the Rams final season, together with the playoffs, Fowler had 3.5 sacks and a pressured fumble.

Prediction: The Rams is not going to use the tag on Fowler. — Lindsey Thiry

Linebacker Anthony Barr

The Vikings knew they’d face a troublesome resolution with Barr once they opted to not prolong the previous first-rounder final offseason, which then put him within the place to play out his fifth-year possibility. Minnesota has to determine whether or not it desires to spend the estimated $15 million on a franchise tag to maintain Barr round — or presumably plan to commerce him quickly after. Barr smoothed out an up-and-down season towards the top of 2018, recording the primary a number of sack recreation of his NFL profession and producing 23 complete quarterback pressures on 94 rushes, based on Professional Soccer Focus. Whereas he has mentioned he wished to return to Minnesota, Barr expressed a need to maintain all of his choices open if he hits free company. “I do know my price and I do know what I obtained to do I’ve obtained to do it for me,” Barr mentioned on the Professional Bowl. Although Barr has been an integral a part of Mike Zimmer’s protection since he was drafted in 2014, for a group up in opposition to the wage cap, spending that quantity to retain Barr would not appear reasonable when there are different extra urgent wants in addition to the probability that the Vikings will be capable to discover his substitute within the draft or elsewhere.

Prediction: The Vikings is not going to use the tag on Barr. — Courtney Cronin

Kicker Stephen Gostkowski

The Patriots might strike an extension with Gostkowski earlier than free company, but when they do not, assigning him the franchise tag would assist them keep some leverage to maintain him within the fold in 2019. Whereas the tag of about $5 million is richer than the membership would mission to pay on an annual foundation as a part of a multiyear deal, it could possibly be a placeholder till the perimeters hammer out an extended pact. Some would possibly ask, “Why not DE Trey Flowers or OT Trent Brown?” The considering is that their franchise-tag numbers can be too excessive for the group’s liking.

Prediction: The Patriots is not going to use the tag on Gostkowski and can signal him to an extension. — Mike Reiss

Security Landon Collins

The Giants aren’t in any place to permit 25-year-old defensive playmakers to stroll. Collins desires to remain and receives a commission high security cash. However given the unpredictability of the protection market the previous few years and his place (robust security), it will be laborious to discover a center floor that fits each events.

Prediction: That may depart Collins destined for the protection franchise tag at near $11 million for 2019. — Jordan Raanan

Quarterback Nick Foles

The Eagles are hoping to get some worth in return through tag and commerce as they transfer on from the previous Tremendous Bowl MVP. With the franchise quantity for quarterbacks anticipated to be round $25 million, Philly must have a commerce accomplice lined up earlier than happening this highway. If a commerce would not materialize, the Eagles can let Foles stroll and accept a compensatory choose in 2020.

Prediction: The celebs have to align, however we’ll say the entrance workplace finds a dance accomplice and efficiently executes a tag and commerce. — Tim McManus

Working again Le’Veon Bell

Designating Bell the franchise participant for the third straight yr is unlikely. Bell’s yearlong holdout broke goodwill with the group, and with many across the league believing his third tag is price $20-plus million, Bell’s holdout however, the Steelers both would not wish to pay that or would not allocate the cap area to maintain the tag in place. The transition tag is extra tenable, particularly if the Steelers can show it is price round $9.5 million as a substitute of $14.5 million due to Bell’s absence in 2018. However Bell cannot be traded until he indicators the tag or the Steelers make the most of a proposal sheet for a convoluted sign-and-trade plan, which is dangerous if different groups aren’t within the provide sheet’s numbers. Plus, the NFLPA would argue such a transfer violates the spirit of the tag and the collective bargaining settlement.

Prediction: The Steelers is not going to use any tag on Bell. — Jeremy Fowler

Kicker Robbie Gould

Gould has been probably the most correct kicker within the league in his two seasons in San Francisco, changing 96 p.c of his 75 area aim makes an attempt. That type of manufacturing makes him a invaluable commodity in a league the place kickers appear to overlook clutch kicks frequently. The franchise-tag quantity for kickers in 2019 is predicted to return in someplace round $5 million, a quantity the Niners can simply soak up, given they need to have between $60 million and $70 million in cap area. Ideally, the 49ers wish to signal Gould to an extension earlier than free company, and the perimeters have had talks towards that, but it surely’s laborious to think about a situation through which they’d simply let him stroll with no higher possibility clearly accessible.

Prediction: If no deal is struck, Gould might be tagged and negotiations will proceed. — Nick Wagoner

Defensive finish Frank Clark

The franchise tag has appeared possible since Clark’s agent instructed in October that his shopper is keen to attend for a deal that makes him one of many NFL’s highest-paid pass-rushers, even when it means enjoying on a tag first. “We plan on Frank being with us,” coach Pete Carroll mentioned on the finish of the season, seemingly a sign that the Seahawks will tag Clark in the event that they should. Clark turns 26 in June. He is coming off his finest season and his 32 sacks since 2016 are ninth most in that span, so it is almost not possible to think about the Seahawks letting him get to free company. With effectively over $50 million in projected 2019 cap area, the Seahawks can simply soak up the $17 million to $18 million cap cost that will include the tag.

Prediction: Clark will get tagged and the 2 sides proceed to barter a long-term deal. — Brady Henderson

Offensive deal with Donovan Smith

Smith might be again with the Bucs in 2019. The query is whether or not it is below the franchise tag or a long-term deal. He has began 64 consecutive video games, tied for second most of any left deal with within the league behind Jake Matthews. That may make Smith the highest left deal with within the free-agent market. Sure, he has shined at instances, however he has additionally had some points with consistency. Nonetheless, at simply 25 years previous, the Bucs imagine he has not reached his ceiling and his biggest asset is his sturdiness.

Prediction: If the Bucs cannot work out a long-term deal, which is believed to be within the ballpark of $12 million to $13 million per yr, they’re going to franchise him at an estimated $14.077 million for one yr. — Jenna Laine

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