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NFL Franchise Tag Tracker: Packers not expected to use a tag in 2018

Keep it here for news about franchise tags all across the NFL.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The lead-up to NFL free agency begins with the period for applying the Franchise and Transition Tags, which opened up on Tuesday. Teams have until March 6th to decide to use the tags.

However, since the tag amounts are tied to the salary cap, the NFL will have to announce the official cap number for 2018 sometime before that March 6th deadline. The expected number is $178 million, which is what the current tag amounts are based on.

As a refresher, the three tags are as follows:

  • Exclusive Franchise Tag: Average of top five 2018 salaries at player’s position or 120% of previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. No ability to negotiate with other teams.
  • Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag: Average of top five salaries at player’s position over the last five years or 120% of previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. Player can negotiate with other teams and sign offer sheets, but original team has right to match the offer sheet. If original team does not match, it receives two first-round draft picks from the team signing the player.
  • Transition Tag: Average of top ten salaries at player’s position or 120% of previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. Player can negotiate with other teams and sign offer sheets, but original team has right to match the offer sheet.

Here’s a look at the reports that have come out about teams using the tag, as well as a discussion of what the Green Bay Packers are expected to do.

Green Bay Packers: Nobody

This is still a projection, as there have been no formal reports, but the Packers have no free agents worthy of the hefty price of a tag. The only possible candidate might have been wide receiver Davante Adams, but his contract extension just before the end of the 2017 regular season makes that a non-issue.

Even if you look at safety Morgan Burnett, the team’s top remaining free agent, it’s tough to imagine the Packers giving him a tag. The franchise tag amount for that position is just over $11 million, and it would be difficult to justify paying Burnett that much after an okay season in 2017.

Miami Dolphins: WR Jarvis Landry

The first indication of a team planning to tag someone is about the Dolphins and Landry. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Miami is tagging Landry with the non-exclusive Franchise Tagat a cost of about $16 million. Landry plays almost entirely in the slot; indeed, according to Pro Football Focus, he ran two-thirds of his routes and saw 87 of his 156 targets from there in 2017. However, on a yards per reception basis, Landry set a record, and not in a good way:

Still, his high target volume and production would have made him a desirable option for some teams that need a slot possession receiver. He’ll be staying in Miami to reunite with Ryan Tannehill (who should return from a torn ACL) in 2018.

Dallas Cowboys: DE DeMarcus Lawrence

Stephen Jones said on Thursday that the Cowboys would tag Lawrence if they are unable to get a new contract finalized prior to March 6th. Of course, tagging him would let Dallas continue to negotiate a deal through July. Lawrence otherwise would have been the top pass-rusher in this year’s free agent class.

Minnesota Vikings: Not likely to use tag

From Ian Rapoport on 2/26, the Vikings are reportedly not going to tag quarterback Case Keenum. That move will leave them with a major question mark under center, as all three of their quarterbacks — Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Bradford — are scheduled to be free agents.

Detroit Lions: DE Ezekiel Ansah

On February 27, the Lions announced that they have tagged Ansah, their first-round pick from 2013. After a 2016 season that saw him record just two sacks in 13 games, Ansah bounced back with 12 in 2017; however, Ansah recorded three sacks in three different games, including each of the last two contests of the year against the Bengals and Packers. Outside of those games, he had just three sacks in 11 contests.

Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Le’Veon Bell

Per Ian Rapoport, the Steelers and Bell have not yet agreed on a framework for a new contract extension, and Pittsburgh will give Bell the franchise tag if that remains the case by the March 6th deadline. UPDATE: The Steelers officially placed the franchise tag on Bell on March 6th.

Los Angeles Rams: S LaMarcus Joyner

After trading for Marcus Peters, the Rams appear content to let cornerback Trumaine Johnson test the free agent market. That makes Joyner their pick for the tag, per Ian Rapoport, over wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

Chicago Bears: CB Kyle Fuller (Transition Tag)

Rapoport is reporting that the Bears are using the transition tag on Fuller. Chicago probably wish they had used the 5th-year option on Fuller now, as he would have been paid less money than he will make under the transition tag. However, the team is expected to try to come to a long-term deal with Fuller between now and July 15th.


Stay tuned for more updates on tags being applied around the NFL.