NFL Breakdown: Franchise Tag Deadline
For NFL players still on the franchise tag, today represents the last opportunity to secure some long-term security before the season. Four remain under the designation ahead of the deadline to reach a multi-year contract:
Demarcus Lawrence DE Cowboys
Ziggy Ansah DE Lions
Lamarcus Joyner S Rams
Ansah, Joyner, and Lawrence all wasted no time signing their franchise tenders and getting back into offseason workouts. That’s typically a sign that a player is content with the one-year salary of the franchise tag and not too interested in holding out for an extension.
LeVeon Bell RB Steelers:
Bell told ESPN in April he is seeking a long-term deal with an average annual value of at least the $14.55 million that playing on the franchise tag would provide him in 2018. While that would shatter precedent in a depressed market for veteran running backs (Devonta Freeman of the Falcons is the top earner with a five-year, $41.25 million contract) – that’s 8.2 million per year. Only half of his contract was guaranteed (22 mill)
Last year, the running back waited until Sept. 1 — nine days before the Steelers’ 2017 opener — to report to the team facility and sign his tender. If he doesn’t reach a deal this time around, don’t expect to see him at training camp this year either.
Bell is 26 years old, he’s only played in 16 games once in his 5-year career. But, he’s infinitely valuable to that Steelers offense.
He’s rushed for over 1,200 yards the last 2 seasons and he’s been the team’s 2nd best WR, behind Antonio Brown. Bell had almost 30 more catches than their 2nd best WR on the roster (JuJu Smith-Schuster).
I say pay the man!