2023 NFL franchise tag tracker: Cowboys tag Pollard, Chiefs won’t tag Brown

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NFL free agency is right around the corner, and some teams have some expensive decisions to make before the new league year begins on March 15.

Teams can place the franchise tag on potential unrestricted free agents until Tuesday. Each team can only tag one player, which is a fully guaranteed deal for one season if the player chooses to play.

There are two main types of franchise tags: non-exclusive, which means NFL players can still trade with other teams after the tag is applied, and exclusive, which prevent players from trading with other teams. Transition tags are also one-year contract deals. Players who receive this tag can trade with other teams, but the tagging team has the right to match any offer.

Franchise tag figures are based on the top five salaries at each position, while transition tags pay an average of the top 10 salaries at the player’s position. Regardless of the type of tag, both players and teams can still agree to a long-term deal before training camp even if the tag is used. Last season, eight players were franchise tagged.

Follow here for the latest news and rumours:

Officially tagged

Tony PollardRB, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys franchise tagged Pollard after the two sides could not agree on a long-term contract, by ESPN.

Franchise Tag Salary: $10.091 million guaranteed
Statistics 2022-2023: 1,007 yards, 12 total touchdowns (nine rushing, three receiving)
Why it matters: Pollard surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his four-year NFL career last season, becoming a key part of Dallas’ offense and at times taking on the starting injured role Ezekiel Elliott. His 1,007 yards and 12 scores in 2022 were both career highs for the former fourth-round draft pick. Pollard’s postseason was cut short when he fractured his left fibula in the Cowboys’ divisional-round game, requiring offseason surgery.

Evan EngramTHE Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags officially placed their franchise tag on Engram, ESPN reported Monday.

Franchise Tag Salary: $11.345 million guaranteed
Statistics 2022-2023: 73 receptions, 766 yards, four touchdowns
Why it matters: The sixth-year tight end had a game-high 73 catches for 766 yards and four scores in 2022, completing 74.5 percent of his passes from QB Trevor Lawrence. Engram, 28, spent the first five years of his NFL career with the New York Giants after being selected 23rd overall in 2017. He has 335 career catches for 3,594 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Darron PayneDT, Commanders of Washington

Payne was the first player to receive the franchise tag this offseason, with the Chiefs using the non-exclusive tag, the team announced on February 28.

Franchise Tag Salary: $18.937 million guaranteed
Statistics 2022-2023: 64 total tackles (32 solo), 11.5 sacks, 20 QB hits, five pass breakups, one fumble recovery
Why it matters: Payne enters his sixth NFL season after originally being drafted by Washington with the 13th overall pick in 2018. The 25-year-old became the seventh defensive tackle in franchise history to be selected for a Pro Bowl. His 11.5 sacks last season were third among defensive tackles, and he was second among all tacklers with 21 tackles for loss. Payne, who has started 75 games in his five-year NFL career, has 162 tackles and 26 all-time sacks.

It is expected to be tagged

Josh JacobsRB, Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders plan to place the franchise tag on Jacobs if the two sides can’t reach a contract agreement by Tuesday’s deadline. the NFL Network reported Friday.

Franchise Tag Salary: $10.091 million guaranteed
Statistics 2022-2023: 1,653 yards, 12 touchdowns
Why it matters: Jacobs, 25, was the NFL’s leading rusher in 2022, becoming the first Raider to do so since Marcus Allen in 1985. He also led the league in scrimmage yards (2,053) . He was named a first-team All-Pro and was selected to his second Pro Bowl. Jacobs has rushed for 4,740 yards and 40 touchdowns in his four-year career while catching 160 passes for 1,152 yards. The Raiders previously opted not to exercise the former first baseman’s fifth-year option this offseason.

It will not be tagged

Orlando Brown Jr.OT, Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs will not franchise tag Brown for the second straight season, the NFL Network reported Monday.

Franchise Tag Salary: $19.99 million guaranteed
Statistics 2022-2023: 1,133 offensive snaps played, four sacks allowed
Why it matters: Brown, who the Chiefs acquired from the Ravens ahead of the 2021 season, has been a steady force on the left side over the past few seasons as he has protected Patrick Mahomes’ blind spot. Kansas City can still reach a deal with Brown, which Chiefs general manager Brett Veach told reporters at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine he would like to do. However, his franchise tag number was too high, according to the NFL Network.

up in the air

Lamar JacksonQB, Baltimore Ravens

Jackson, no doubt the Top name in 2023 free agency class: He is seeking a fully guaranteed multi-year deal worth roughly $50 million per year, but the Ravens are reluctant to give him such a deal, ESPN previously reported.

Franchise Tag Salary: $32.416 million guaranteed
Statistics 2022-2023: 62.3% completion rate, 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns, seven interceptions in 12 games
Why it matters: The Ravens are expected to place the franchise tag on the 2019 NFL MVP, although it is unclear which tag he would receive. The non-exclusive franchise tag would allow other teams to negotiate a deal with him, while the exclusive franchise tag, which prevents teams from negotiating a deal, would pay Jackson about $45 million, per ESPN. “I want great players, I want quarterbacks and I love Lamar,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said Wednesday. “We want to do what’s best for the club. We try to do what we can for Lamar. We want to make everybody happy.”

Daniel JonesQB, New York Giants

Jones will be headed for a franchise tag if the two sides can’t agree on a long-term deal, which seems increasingly likely as the deadline nears. Giants general manager Joe Schoen recently told NFL Network that he wished the team was “a little closer to a deal than we are right now,” but that “there’s still time.”

Franchise Tag Salary: $32.416 million guaranteed
Statistics 2022-2023: 67.2% completion rate, 3,205 yards, 15 touchdowns, five interceptions
Why it matters: Jones will be the Giants’ starting quarterback in 2023, one way or another, according to Schoen, who has been in “constant contact” with Jones’ agents about signing him to a long-term deal. Jones is seeking a deal worth more than $40 million per season, while the Giants prefer to keep his contract closer to $35 million per year.

Saquon BarkleyRB, New York Giants

Another big name New York has on their radar is Barkley. If the Giants and Jones can agree to an extension before Tuesday’s deadline and Barkley doesn’t have a deal, the star running back is likely to receive the team’s single franchise tag.

Franchise Tag Salary: $10.091 million guaranteed
Statistics 2022-2023: 1,312 yards, 10 touchdowns
Why it matters: Schoen previously told reporters they haven’t “completely bridged” the gap but are “a little bit closer” to closing a deal with Barkley, the Giants’ second overall pick in 2018. Barkley, 26, was selected for a Pro Bowl. after his first season and earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors before battling injuries in 2019 and 2020 that derailed his next two seasons. He became a two-time Pro Bowler in 2022 after accumulating the fourth-most rushing yards last season.

Geno SmithQB, Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks general manager John Schneider recently told reporters that contract talks with Smith are “looking really good,” but declined to say whether the team would use the franchise tag on Smith if he doesn’t reached an extension agreement before Tuesday.

Franchise Tag Salary: $32.416 million guaranteed
Statistics 2022-2023: 69.8% completion rate, 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns, 11 interceptions
Why it matters: Last season was a turning point in the 32-year-old Smith’s career, as he went from being a backup official for most of the past seven seasons to a Pro Bowl player and Player of the NFL comeback year. Smith, who played on a one-year, $3.5 million deal last season, and the Seahawks are reportedly “intended to get a deal done.”

Jessie Bates IIIYes, Cincinnati Bengals

It was previously suggested that Bates could again be a candidate for the franchise tag for Cincinnati this offseason, by ESPN.

Franchise Tag Salary: $14.46 million guaranteed
Statistics 2022-2023: 71 total tackles (38 solo), four interceptions
Why it matters: Bates played for the franchise tag in 2022 after he couldn’t come to terms with the Bengals on a long-term extension. Cincinnati used its 2022 first-round pick to draft Bates’ intended replacement, Dax Hill.

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