10 Candidates to Receive Designated Player Label in the NFL

Today, February 21, begins the designated period for NFL teams to award Franchise Player tags —exclusive and non-exclusive— and Transition, which closes until March 7 at 4:00 p.m. New York time, by what the necessary considerations must do to make the pertinent decisions.

Let’s remember some basic principles:

  • A team can only use one of these designations on one of its players, that is, it cannot, for example, award the Designation Player label to one and the Transition Player to the other.
  • Once a player receives a tag, they have until July 15 of this year to either sign that offer and play under that deal or sign a multi-year contract.
  • If the player signs his tag, he will have a 100% guaranteed salary agreement for a single season with the team, and will not be able to negotiate a new one, with the present one or with a new team, until the following offseason.
  • The compensation that the player will receive in case of signing his tag is equal to the average of the five highest paid players of his position in the league or 120% of his salary from the previous year, whichever is greater.
  • A team has the ability to rescind the tag at any time before it is signed without consequence.
  • There are some players whose multi-year contracts include a clause that prevents the team from designating them with any of these labels.

With that in mind, now let’s review the names sorted by position.

10 candidates to receive the label of Franchise Player

QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

The contractual soap opera between this player and the Baltimore team will be long and winding. The next chapter seems like it will inevitably be the Ravens giving him a label: which one they will opt for is the first thing to watch, although we might expect it to be the Designated Player Exclusive, which prevents him from dealing with any other team and would guarantee him a salary around 45.2 million dollars in 2023.

In this option, the door is open for another team to offer the Ravens a trade for their QB, with two first-round picks being the minimum price they would have to pay, which, in the event of this situation, would surely be easily exceeded. .

QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants

After the type of season he had in 2022, Jones is in a position where he can value himself much better than before; However, he hasn’t had more than that good year, so the Giants have reasons not to be entirely confident. However, they don’t have a better option than him, especially knowing that his front office and coaching staff can put him in the best position to be successful by building a solid roster and a scheme that maximizes his abilities.

With other contract needs, specifically the Saquon Barkley issue, we may see a contract extension for maybe two or three years at a reasonable price.

QB Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

It seems incredible, but unless the team wants to invest its No. 5 pick in the next draft in its franchise QB, Smith is the best option for the Seahawks right now. After a season of resurgence in his career, he can now offer Seattle at least one season of financial flexibility without making them fall into the urge to find the next player to take over the offense.

It will be interesting to follow his situation with that of Daniel Jones in parallel, since they could end up receiving very similar extensions.

RB Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

He’s been the Cowboys’ top running back for at least the past two years; However, the contract they gave Ezekiel Elliott is too heavy, so they have had to use it more than they wanted. A couple of factors are decisive in this case: on the one hand, in the last game of last season he suffered an injury that will keep him out until the dates close to the Draft. and on the other is what the team wants to do with Ezekiel Elliott and his monstrous contract.

It seems that the investment close to 10 million that the franchise player tag would cost for this player is the most realistic and safe path in the short term. Using her would, on the one hand, ensure that the team is checking that his recovery is 100% and, on the other hand, would have the financial flexibility to balance Elliott’s contract for another year by either keeping him on the team or cutting him and absorbing the money. dead.

RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

For at least a couple of years there were those who wanted to dismiss Jacobs as a viable option and both times he delivered very good results exceeding all expectations. Such preconceptions even impacted the Raiders team, which decided not to exercise the fifth-year option on the rookie contract, which would have cost around $8 million in 2023; Now, in case of deciding on the Franchise Player label, the cost will be about two million more.

RB Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

This is part of the crossroads for the Giants: tagging Barkley or Daniel Jones will be one of the main challenges for this front office. In the 2022 season, the running back showed the promise that he was as a prospect who graduated from Penn State in 2018; However, these brilliant moments have been counted down due to constant injuries, so the team could show reservations to grant him a long-term contract.

To sign an extension, Barkley would be looking at around $12 million per season, so the $10 million franchise tag cost might be a good balance between his expectation and what the team is willing to give up.

Giving the tag to one will mean that the other will be handed a multi-year contract extension or let through the exit gate.

TE Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars

A very interesting case. Last offseason Engram signed in Free Agency with Jacksonville a contract for one year and 9 million; that is considered a test contract. The result was most favorable to both parties, as the Jaguars got their third-best receiver in terms of yards and touchdowns, while Engram increased his value on the market. Now the team will seek to build on the success of 2022 by giving continuity to its elements and one of the necessary movements will be to retain its TE.

Playing on the Designated Player tag would cost him about $11.3 million in 2023, a high amount considering they could surely give him an extension that’s up from last year’s $9 million but below the cost of the tag.

S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles

The situation of this player is interesting, since in the past offseason he was traded from the Saints with a year remaining on his rookie contract, so the Eagles knew that after the 2022 season they would have to make the decision of what to do with him. .

His production on the field was phenomenal this year registering the highest number of interceptions in the league with 6, so his market value went up instantly. The franchise tag’s $14.4 million cost for the 2023 season could even be a bargain relative to what other teams could offer him in Free Agency, which could hover around the average $16 million per season.

Others unlikely to receive the Designated Player tag

OT Orlando Brown, Kansas City Chiefs

This would be the second year in a row that Brown would receive the tag, and for a contending team that is against the salary cap year after year, this is less than ideal. Yet Brown is still not putting in a performance that makes him the $24 million-a-year tackle he wants to be. In case of granting him a second tag, the Chiefs would be absorbing a cost of 19.9 million dollars in 2023, which would total his cost to 36.5 million throughout 2022 and 2023, giving an average of less than 18 million dollars, a much greater value. more realistic.

Using the tag, while they negotiate a more convenient contract extension for the team or find options to replace him, could be viable.

DT Da’Ron Payne, Washington Commanders

This is a tough case, as Payne finally showed some good play in the final year of his rookie deal, but the market has already handed out other big, value-boosting defensive deals.

Tremendous deals with Aaron Donald, DeForest Buckner, Leonard Williams, Chris Jones and Washington teammate Jonathan Allen bring the cost of the Designated Player tag to nearly $19 million.

The team’s roster seems to need several other adjustments, so the tag is the only way that seems possible to retain it, although it still seems remote.

These are our 10 candidates to receive the Designated Player tag in the NFL this 2023 offseason. Who are your favorites and which ones would you like for your team? We read you in the comments under this article and on our social networks.


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