The NFL’s deadline for teams to apply the franchise or transition tag to one of their pending free agents is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
The tags provide players with a lucrative one-year salary (calculated by averaging the top-paying deals at their position) but prevent them from reaching unfettered free agency.
The tag deadline often serves as an accelerant to get deals done – Exhibit A being the four-year contract Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys finally reached Monday evening. (Prescott would have been due $37.7 million in 2021 had he been franchised again.) But tags can also be used to simply buy time as a player and team continue negotiating a long-term pact, the deadline for franchised players to do so this year not until July 15.
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Franchise tags applied
Carolina Panthers OT Taylor Moton: Per reports, the durable right tackle, who’s only 26, will remain in Charlotte.
Denver Broncos S Justin Simmons: Tagged for the second consecutive offseason, the Pro Bowler is scheduled to make $13.7 million in 2021 – a 20% raise from last year – barring a long-term extension.
Jacksonville Jaguars OT Cam Robinson: Per reports, he’s sticking around – presumably to protect presumptive No. 1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence in 2021.
New York Giants DL Leonard Williams: Per reports, he will be tagged for the second straight year after posting a career best 11½ sacks. Williams stands to make at least $19.35 million, a 20% raise from 2020, but might make more if he’s able to get his position classified as defensive end.
New York Jets S Marcus Maye: Despite losing wingman Jamal Adams prior to the 2020 season, Maye had a breakout campaign – one that was too good for the cap-flush Jets to allow him to walk away.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin: Per reports, the champs’ 25-year-old No. 2 receiver gets the tag this year, meaning OLB Shaq Barrett – he was tagged last year –and several other key free agents are likely to reach the open market.
Washington Football Team G Brandon Scherff: Like Simmons, he was also tagged in 2020. Like Simmons, Scherff will also receive a 20% raise – to the tune of $18 million – if he winds up playing on the tag.