Will any franchise-tag deals get done?
The NFL is a deadline-driven business. A key deadline is currently driving up on several teams.
Currently, however, there’s no indication that any of the franchise-tagged players who have not signed long-term deals will sign long-term deals before today’s 4:00 p.m. ET deadline. As one source with knowledge of the dynamics explained it, the Saints and safety Marcus Williams are the most likely to get something done.
Other franchise-tagged players include Bears receiver Allen Robinson, Buccaneers receiver Chris Godwin, Jaguars tackle Cam Robinson, Washington guard Brandon Scherff, Jets safety Marcus Maye, and Panthers tackle Taylor Moton.
The reasons vary for the inability to strike deals. Per a league source, Allen Robinson and Chris Godwin want more guaranteed money than their teams will offer, as much as three years guaranteed for skill, injury, and cap. (The Bucs also believe they need to be sensitive to the presence of Mike Evans.) Brandon Scherff, who has been tagged a second time and who as a practical matter won’t be tagged again, has more leverage than the rest of the tagged players, and he’s using it.
Marcus Maye, as we hear it, simply isn’t interested in committing long-term to the Jets at this point. As to Cam Robinson, the new coaching staff in Jacksonville is leery about making a long-term commitment until it gets a chance to assess him as a player.
In past years, the formula for converting a first franchise tag into a long-term deal has gone like this: Fully guarantee the first two years at the franchise-tag amounts (base value for current year and 20-percent raise for the next year), with three non-guaranteed years on the back end.
Absent long-term deals by 4:00 p.m. ET, no tagged player can sign a long-term deal until after the regular season. Since all of the tagged players have signed their one-year tenders, all currently are and will remain under contract, regardless of whether a long-term deal is done.