Franchise Tag Round-Up: Who Got Tagged and Who Didn’t
The deadline for NFL teams to designate a franchise player has come and gone. Some significant names received the tag. However, plenty of interesting players didn’t. Let’s run down some of the notable names on both sides of the fence.
Who Got Tagged?
Six players received the non-exclusive franchise tag this year. No players received the exclusive or transition tags this year, per an NFL media release. Under the non-exclusive franchise tag, these players can negotiate with other teams and sign an offer sheet. However, their current team can either decline to match (and receive two first-round picks as compensation) or match the offer.
Lamar Jackson (QB), Baltimore Ravens
No surprise here. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens were lightyears apart on a deal, at least regarding the amount of guaranteed money. Baltimore will pay Jackson $32.4 million this season if no one takes a swing at signing the former MVP quarterback.
More on what this means for Jackson and the Ravens moving forward:
Saquon Barkley (RB), New York Giants
With the Giants getting a deal done with Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley became one of three running backs to receive the franchise tag this year. So, the Giants will pay Barkley — who rushed for a career-high 1,312 yards last season with 10 touchdowns — $10.09 million this season.
More on Barkley’s tag and the market impact from Luis:
Evan Engram (TE), Jacksonville Jaguars
Engram’s first season in Jacksonville was a career year. The Jaguars’ tight end logged 73 receptions for 766 yards with four touchdowns last season. Jacksonville will pay Engram $11.34 million under the tag in 2023.
Tony Pollard (RB), Dallas Cowboys
Tony Pollard suffered a broken leg in the NFC playoffs. So, some worried about what impact that might have on his market this offseason. However, that’s no longer an issue. Pollard will play for the Cowboys in 2023 under the tag.
Pollard made his first-career Pro Bowl last season after logging 1,378 total yards and 12 touchdowns in 2022. He is set to earn $10.09 million this season under the tag.
Josh Jacobs (RB), Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs said last month at the Pro Bowl that he would become the hero turned villain in Vegas if the Raiders tagged him. Still, they did it anyway.
Jacobs led the league in rushing this season (1,653 yards) and earned a Pro Bowl appearance. The Raiders running back will earn $10.91 million this season. However, the Raiders still have time to extend Jacobs before he signs the tender, and that seems like the best-case scenario for both sides.
Daron Payne (DT), Washington Commanders
A first-round pick of the Commanders in 2018, Payne racked up a career-best 11.5 sacks last season and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl. Washington will pay Payne $18.93 million under the tag in 2023.
These players were candidates for the franchise tag but did not receive it and will become free agents on March 15 if they and their current team can’t reach an agreement on an extension.
Orlando Brown (OT), Kansas City Chiefs
While it was widely anticipated that the Chiefs would place the designation on Brown for the second straight season, Kansas City did not.
Despite some belief that Brown had a down season, the veteran tackle still earned a trip to the Pro Bowl. The Chiefs have one week to work out a deal with Brown before he becomes a free agent on March 15.
PFF Free Agent Rank & Projected Contract: No. 8 – 5 yrs, $105M
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (FS), Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson did not receive the tag from Philadelphia. Gardner-Johnson had 67 tackles, six interceptions, and a sack for the Eagles in 2022. Gardner did all of that while missing five games down the stretch of the season with an injury.
PFF Free Agent Rank & Projected Contract: No. 25 – 3 yrs, $34.5M
Matt Gay (K), Los Angeles Rams
Luis said it best on Twitter last night, “Kickers are like sprinkles sometimes, they’re nice but they shouldn’t be the main topping.”
PFF Free Agent Rank & Projected Contract: NR – NA
Dre’Mont Jones (DE), Denver Broncos
The first of two Jones’, Dre’Mont is in line for a nice payday this offseason. Jones has 138 quarterback pressure since entering the league (19th best among interior defensive linemen). Additionally, his 14.5 percent pass rush win rate ranks 11th over that span.
PFF Free Agent Rank & Projected Contract: No. 22 – 4 yrs, $68M
Jonathan Jones (CB), New England Patriots
Jones had a terrific first half for the Patriots. Playing outside for the first time in his career, Jones posted a solid 82.1 coverage grade (which ranked sixth among cornerbacks). However, in weeks 11-18, Jones’ small frame was exposed, and he struggled to replicate the success. Jones ranked 82nd among all cornerbacks in PFF’s coverage grades down the stretch.
The 29-year-old corner will still be a nice low-cost inside cornerback addition for a team this offseason with plenty of upside.
PFF Free Agent Rank & Projected Contract: No. 33 – 2 yrs, $11M