Squawka NFL

NFL Franchise Tag Tracker: Eight players stay put, including Davante Adams

By Stuart Dick

Published: 12:00, 11 March 2022

Eight players learned their fate ahead of the 2022 Franchise Tag deadline as the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals, amongst others, ensured they retained the services of high-ticket talents such as Davante Adams, Orlando Brown and Jessies Bates III respectively.

What is the Franchise Tag?

The Franchise Tag is a mechanism within the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which allows NFL teams to protect prized assists – at a hefty cost – keeping them with the franchise whether the player wants it or not.

The Tag is usually a pre-requisite to a player and a team hitting the negotiating table to iron out a long-term deal (that is in the best interests of the player and the team). Players may even ‘hold out’ – essentially refuse to play – to avoid playing on the one-year tag, where a substantial injury could affect their future earnings.

The one-year tag does reward the player financially in that a tagged player will earn an average of the top five salaries at his position, or if he already earns more than that average, he will receive 120% of his previous year’s salary – the entire contract is fully guaranteed.

Franchise Tags can be exclusive or non-exclusive in nature. An exclusive tag forbids opposing teams from entering negotiations with the player.

On the other hand, a non-exclusive tag does allow this, but any negotiating team who agrees to sign the player will give up two first-round picks for the privilege of signing the player. However, a players current team can match the offer put forward, keeping the player on their roster.

A player can be tagged in three consecutive seasons, although by that stage the player and team relationship is often extremely volatile. A second tag earns the player 120% of his salary from the initial year under the Franchise Tag. A third tagging earns the player 144% of his salary under the second tag – a handsome return indeed.

Teams are only able to tag one player per season, making this a crucial decision for teams across the league. The window to apply the franchise tag opened on February 22 and closed on March 8.

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Current projected 2022 franchise tag salary by position (top 5 average salary)

Quarterback: $28,583,000 (£21.5 million)
Defensive End: $20,186,000 (£15.2 million)
Wide Receiver: $19,127,000 (£14.4 million)
Cornerback: $17,426,000 (£13.1 million)
Linebacker: $17,417,000 (£13.1 million)
Defensive Tackle: $16,888,000 (£12.7 million)
Offensive Line: $16,698,000 (£12.7 million)
Safety: $13,543,000 (£10.2 million)
Running Back: $12,523,000 (£9.4 million)
Tight End: $10,834,000 (£8.1 million)
Kicker and Punter: $5,469,000 (£4.1 million)

Franchise tag tracker

Team Player Tag Cost
Kansas City Chiefs OT Orlando Brown Franchise Tag $16,698,000
Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku Franchise Tag $10,834,000
Cincinnati Bengals S Jessie Bates III Franchise Tag $13,543,000
Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki Franchise Tag $10,834,000
Jacksonville Jaguars OT Cam Robinson Franchise Tag $16,698,000
Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams Franchise Tag $19,127,000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin Franchise Tag $19,127,000
Dallas Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz Franchise Tag $16,698,000

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