NFL Franchise Tag Deadline
Giants Close Deal on Daniel Jones, Tag Saquon Barkley
Photo – QB Daniel Jones – Giants
Photo – Ben Solomon – NY Giants
The NFL franchise tag deadline created several huge changes in the makeup of playoff teams and the QB position in particular. The Ravens tagged QB Lamar Jackson after extended contract talks failed to close a deal. Teams have until July to negotiate Other potential free agent QBs, Daniel Jones, Geno Smith and Derek Carr closed huge deals on the final days prior to the deadline. Jones signed a 4-year deal for $160M plus incentives after an excellent 2022 performance which led to the playoffs. Carr ended his NFL caravan with a four-year deal with the Saints. He looks like a perfect fit for the declining Saints who have the team makeup to make a fast turnaround and win the weak NFC South. Smith may be the best story of the year after a checkered NFL career with more failures as a starter. He led the Seahawks to a postseason in 2022 after Seattle traded star QB Russell Wilson last offseason.
Tuesday marked the official deadline for NFL teams to use a tag on players whose contracts are set to expire.
After the signing of Daniel Jones, the Giants GM Joe Schoen was able to tag Saquon Barkley and retain their two star free agents. Giants brass and Barkley will work to close a deal over the next few weeks to create more salary cap room for the upcoming Free Agency market.
Previously, the NFL announced the 2023 salary cap will be a record $224.8 million per club. That’s an increase of 8% from the $208.2 million in 2022. Prior years were $182.5M in 2021 (Covid adjustment), 198.2M in 2020 and $188.2M in 2019.
NFL teams have until 4 pm est on March 15th to get under the salary cap before the free agency period officially opens.
Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag Players (6) – deadline March 7, 2023
Quarterback – $32.42M – tag average for position
Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens. Age 26
Running back – $10.1M – tag average for position
Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants. Age: 26
Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys. Age: 26
Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders. Age: 26
Tight end – $11.36M – tag average
Evan Engram, TE, Jaguars. Age: 28
Defensive tackle – $18.94M – tag for tackles
Da’Ron Payne, NT, Redskins. Age: 26.
2023 Franchise/Transition tag figures
Position Franchise #
Running back: $10.1M
Wide receiver: $19.74M
Tight end: $11.36M
Offensive linemen: $18.24M
Defensive end: $19.73M
Defensive tackle: $18.94M
Running back: $8.43M
Wide receiver: $17.99M
Tight end: $9.72M
Offensive linemen: $16.66M
Defensive end: $17.45M
Defensive tackle: $16.1M
There are three tender options: 1) Non-exclusive franchise tag; 2) Exclusive franchise tag; 3) Transition tag.
Non-exclusive franchise tag – This is a one-year tender of the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position over the last five years, or 120 percent of his previous salary, whichever is greater. The player can negotiate with other teams. The player’s current team has the right to match any offer or receive two first-round draft picks as compensation if he signs with another club.
Exclusive franchise tag: Unlike the non-exclusive version, the tagging team retains the sole right to negotiate with the player. The exclusivity comes with a bump in pay scale (current average salary versus averaging of the previous five years). This one-year tender offer of the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position for the current year, or 120 percent of his previous salary, whichever is greater. The rise in pay scale means only a select few get this tag. Usually, players for whom other teams would gladly give up two first-round picks receive this version of the tag — generally, quarterbacks.
Transition tag: The transition tag is a one-year tender offer for the average of the top 10 salaries at the position — as opposed to the top five for the franchise tag. It guarantees the original club the right of first refusal to match any offer the player might receive from another club. The tagging team is awarded no compensation if it chooses not to match a deal.