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2021 Franchise Tag Discussion

The deadline for announcing franchise tags is Tuesday, March 9. Today the first franchise tag was announced. We'll keep track of the players who have been tagged and discuss them in this thread.

March 5

DEN FS Justin Simmons

March 8

NYJ FS Marcus Maye

WAS G Brandon Scherff

March 9

CAR OT Taylor Moton

CHI WR Allen Robinson

DAL QB Dak Prescott (this part of his agreement on a new contract)

JAX OT Cam Robinson

NO FS Marcus Williams

NYG DE Leonard Williams

TB WR Chris Godwin

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21 comments, Last at 11 Mar 2021, 11:22pm

1 Wow. I like to think I watch…


I like to think I watch football a lot, but "DEN FS Justin Simmons" gave me a big questionmark.

Safeties are still very underrated in this league. It's because of the camera angles.


2 Is Simmons the only positive…

Is Simmons the only positive result of the Vance Joseph regime? I remember the minor furor among Broncos players and fans when Joseph cut TJ Ward to make room for Simmons, but Justin showed everyone his valuebon the field pretty much immediately. 

4 Spotrac market value:

5 yrs, $77,430,940 for Simmons

Seems like a no brainer even if it's just to extend talks.

9 Godwin getting tagged means…

Godwin getting tagged means Shaq Barrett is not getting tagged, and also makes me think the Bucs are not expecting AB to be around and want to keep that WR corps solid.

20 Not rather, keeping somebody…

Not rather, keeping somebody like Godwin makes huge amounts of sense, and it goes back to the old FO adage of offense being more consistent than defense year-to-year, so keeping your offense running and hoping the defense pops at the right time (like it clearly did for the Bucs last year) is the smarter strategy.  Godwin or Barrett seemed like the likely choices for the tag, now just wondering what Barrett's price is going to be and whether the Bucs will go for that.  I could see somebody flinging a giant bucket of money at his head and the Bucs not matching, as there are plenty of other good players on that defense already.

11 the franchise tag and the…

the franchise tag and the rookie wage scale are the two most insidious tools that teams have when it comes to every non qb position; especially the running backs. Eventually, people like Jerry Jones and Les Snead will figure it out. The union has no power, otherwise these two monstrosities would be the first to go. 

12 One thing I picked up from…

One thing I picked up from discussion around the most recent CBA re-negotiation is that the union doesn't care very much about the franchise tag. It just doesn't affect many players. It definitely brings down the bargaining power of very best players at each position, and maybe the ~10 best starting QBs, but ultimately there's still a minimum amount of money teams have to spend and whatever the superstars lose out on probably ends up in the hands of other mid-to-upper tier veteran starers. In the end, the number of players losing out or benefiting from the existence of the tag is small relative to the size of the union.

Eliminating the tag might lead to more fully-guaranteed contracts being signed, and maybe that would become more of a norm across the league, but I think that might ultimately only provide a net benefit for a small number of stars. And that's probably the union's thinking when they are at the bargaining table.

The rookie wage scale, though - I definitely think that's been a disaster for the great majority of players in the league.

13 Last CBA demonstrated the…

Last CBA demonstrated the NFL's great power over the Union in this regard. 

They added a 17th game to the regular season plus an additional game in the playoffs not prorate the salary for those additional games. 

On top of that they now can fine players who try to hold out.

The concession from the NFL was raising the minimum salary, which is primarily benefiting the Union as a whole which is why it passed. 

Maybe right, maybe wrong - but the costs and benefits are not distributed evenly across the players which is why I have a real problem with this

14 I think the league's primary…

I think the league's primary concession was another 1.5% or so of the revenue split in exchange for the 17th game + expanded playoffs, which goes into the salary cap and should benefit everyone, not just players who will benefit from the increase to the minimum salary. Revenue should be set to go up with those additional games as well. But yeah, in the meantime players who are currently under contract will be working those extra games for less.

It's definitely a tough situation for the union. I guess a strike or lockout is going to be off the table for awhile, but I do get the sense that public opinion has shifted slightly in their favor over time relative to what it used to be. Maybe that's something that could help them in the next negotiation.

16 Based on last season I'm not…

Based on last season I'm not sure Robinson wants to play for the Bears in the long run, and he may not be happy about getting tagged, but he has a hilarious amount of leverage over Chicago if he wants to negotiate a long-term deal with them. With the tag, the Bears are $20 million over the projected cap and they apparently still want to add a QB.

17 I really don't get this one…

I really don't get this one. The dude clearly wants out so he can get paid big and play for a real team. So is the goal to do a tag-and-trade for a better haul than the comp pick the Bears otherwise would've received? Or are they just Washington 2.0 and mindlessly derailing players' careers for no gain now.

19 And I understand why the…

And I understand why the Bears want to keep him, especially this season with Pace's job on the line and maybe Nagy's, too. But if they've been having trouble negotiating a long-term deal to this point, how are things going to proceed now that they've solidified Robinson's leverage by giving him an $18 million cap charge for next season? They have one week to clear $18 million, and probably more like $25-30 million if they are going to try to wade into the marketplace to add a veteran QB who looks more promising than Nick Foles.

At this point Robinson probably has leverage to ask for even more money than he was before. If the Bears won't give it to him, they're going to have to start pushing a bunch of guys' cap money into the future and probably cut one or two more contributors, all for one season of Robinson. And then next offseason he's in Dak Prescott's negotiating position.

Maybe it was a worse idea than I even thought to bring Pace back in "win now" mode.

21 Final tag prices (from PFF)


Tag price: $13.7 million (second consecutive tag)


Tag price: $13.6 million


Tag price: $11.2 million


Tag price: $18 million (second consecutive tag)


Tag price: $19.4 million (second consecutive tag)


Tag price: $13.6 million


Tag price: $16.5 million


Tag price: $18 million


Tag price: $11 million