The franchise tag is a way for teams to secure one of their free agents for at least one more year and then secure them long-term with a contract extension before the deadline. The deadline for teams to give a long-term extension to their franchise tag player was on Monday, July 17. There were three players out of the six franchise-tagged players in 2023 that were not signed to a long-term contract extension. To be specific, the three guys that did not receive an extension, play the same position -- all are running backs.
The six players that were franchise tagged before the 2023 NFL free agency were:
- Ravens' QB Lamar Jackson - Signed five-year, $260 million deal
- Commanders' DL Daron Payne - Signed four-year, $90 million deal
- Jaguars' TE Evan Engram - Signed three-year, $41.25 million deal
- Cowboys' RB Tony Pollard - Did not sign a long-term deal
- Giants' RB Saquon Barkley - Did not sign a long-term deal
- Raiders' RB Josh Jacobs - Did not sign a long-term deal
Tony Pollard will play under the franchise tag in the 2023-2024 season, but it is something different with Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs. Jacobs and Barkley wanted a long-term deal and probably do not want to play under the franchise tag. Both, are unlikely to attend training camp and might hold out for some games, or even possibly the entire season.
Franchise-tagged players CAN be traded, but they must sign the tag first. If they sign the tag, and any other team offers compensation, the player can be traded and then sign a new deal with the new team.
This is, at the moment, good news for the Denver Broncos in my opinion. I see this news as two different good things for Denver.
1. If Josh Jacobs decides to hold out, it is very likely that he will miss the week 1 matchup against the Broncos, which would be great since Jacobs most of the time destroys the Broncos.
2. If Javonte Williams's recovery delays, or he misses some games, Denver could trade for any of these two running backs, and Perine can stay with his initial role as a more blocking guy.
Should the Broncos trade for Jacobs or Barkley?