The deadline to assign franchise tags to pending free-agents has come and gone for the NFL. Though many teams have players they want to keep, only a select few players will receive the team’s franchise tag. This year, seven players received the franchise tag. The teams will have until the July 15 deadline to agree on a long-term deal with their player.
Le’Veon Bell, RB – Pittsburgh Steelers
2017 Salary/Cap Hit: $12,120,000
Despite a year that began with a four game suspension, Le’Veon Bell put up terrific numbers. Bell carried the ball 261 times for 1,268 yards and 7 touchdowns. He added an additional 616 yards and 2 touchdowns on 75 receptions. Once again, Bell proved he is a major threat as both a runner and receiver.
Kirk Cousins, QB – Washington Redskins
2017 Salary/Cap Hit: $23,943,600
For the second year in a row, the Redskins have tagged Kirk Cousins. Despite the strong numbers he has put up in the last two seasons under head coach Jay Gruden, the Redskins have been hesitant to offer him a long-term deal. This summer, the Redskins must decide whether to give Cousins a long-term deal, or they need to trade him. Financially, it would be unfeasible to tag him next year. The team needs to decide whether Cousins is their man or move on.
Chandler Jones, LB – Arizona Cardinals
2017 Salary/Cap Hit: $14,550,000
After being traded by the Patriots in the offseason, Chandler Jones continued his success in Arizona. In only his fifth season, Jones showed why he is considered a premier pass-rusher in the NFL. The Cardinals should be looking to sign him long-term, especially if they are unable to retain Calais Campbell.
Kawann Short, DT – Carolina Panthers
2017 Salary/Cap Hit: $13,387,000
After a terrific season in 2015, racking up an impressive 11 sacks, Short was brought back to Earth a bit. Short still put up good numbers in 2016, accumulating a respectable 6 sacks. Short is still young at 28 years of age, so look for the Panthers to work out a deal with him before the July 15 deadline.
Melvin Ingram, LB – Los Angeles Chargers
2017 Salary/Cap Hit: $14,550,000
Melvin Ingram put up another strong campaign during the 2016 season. He and rookie Joey Bosa solidified the Chargers’ pass rush. The Chargers have already expressed interest in signing him to a multi-year deal, so Ingram should remain a Charger for years to come.
Trumaine Johnson, CB – Los Angeles Rams
2017 Salary/Cap Hit: $16,742,400
Like Cousins, Trumaine Johnson receive his team’s franchise tag for the second straight year. After losing fellow cornerback Janoris Jenkins to the Giants a year prior, the Rams secondary struggled with depth. Unwilling to lose another top-tier defensive back, the Rams were forced to tag Johnson. Johnson will probably play this season under the franchise tag, as General Manager Les Snead stated that he wants to see how well Johnson fits in their new Defensive Coordinator, Wade Phillips, system.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE – New York Giants
2017 Salary/Cap Hit: $16,934,000
Pierre-Paul returned to the Giants lineup midway through the 2015 season, after missing the first eight games due to an injury resulting from a fireworks accident. In twelve games in 2016, Pierre-Paul recorded 7 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Both sides are looking to reach a long-term deal, so look for JPP and the Giants to get a deal done before the deadline.