Extending Franchise-Tagged Players

Extending Franchise-Tagged Players

The July 15th deadline to lock in franchise-tagged players to a long-term extension is now just a month away, and the pressure is building among a few franchises. 
 

Von Miller, LB, DEN

The most prominent unsigned name across the entire league, and the biggest question mark in terms of a deal. The Broncos have done their diligence in terms of making a preliminary offer, but it lacked enough early substance to get Miller's camp on board. The name of the game for Miller is 3 years of bonafied guarantees, while the Broncos appear prepared to only make a two year lock-in at this point.

Denver reportedly offered $38.5M guaranteed over the first two years of their offer, pale in comparison to Ndamukong Suh ($60M), and Marcell Dareus ($55M). Hypothetically, this number would be less important if the Broncos can exceed Dareus' $60M in total guarantees across 3 years - by essentially fully guaranteeing 3 years of this contract at the time of signing. 

Our base projection finds Miller at $17.3M per year, but the Broncos will need to approach $20M over the first three years to get this done.

 

Eric Berry, DB, KC

Berry has unsurprisingly held out of early training with the Chiefs while he awaits his own long-term deal. With less than $1M in Top 51 cap space currently, the Chiefs need this deal about as much as Berry wants it, as an extension can surely lower his $10.8M franchise tag cap figure.

While our calculated projection for Berry finds him just north of $8.2M per year, it's likely the Chiefs will need to reach the $10M per year mark, with almost $30M in full guarantees.

 

Mo Wilkerson DL, NYJ

New York has made it glaringly clear that Wilkerson's long-term future is not in a Jets' uniform. Fletcher Cox's recent 6 year $103M extension with the Eagles all but secured this notion, as the Jets have bigger holes to fill with their dollars in the immediate future. 

So the question now becomes WHEN will Wilkerson return to the Jets in 2016? A training camp holdout is extremely likely, though simply an anger move as the deadline to extend him will have passed. While Wilkerson would likely show up and play out this tag when it's said and done, it won't be pretty.

The bad news? Should New York change their tune and look to sign him, recent blockbuster deals have risen his calculated market value to $16.6M per year.

 

Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI

It's a little surprisingly the Bears haven't gotten this done already, as their current roster certainly lends itself to needing Jeffery for the near future. With $22M in current cap space, Chicago can be creative with their structure.

His current calculated market value sits just under $13M, which would rank 5th among active WRs, but Chicago may need to surpass Dez Bryant & Demaryius Thomas' $14M AAV to get this done.

 

Kirk Cousins, QB, WAS

Cousins signed his franchise tag about as quickly as the Redskins' offered it, as the $19.953M value is way too good to sit on. While it's possible the Redskins bring in offer to the table, it's likely to be moderate at best at this point. It's more likely that Cousins is asked to play out the tagged year as the uncontested starting QB, with the chance to show he's worth a $100M+ extension come this time next year. 

Our calculated market value finds Cousins worth a whopping $20.6M with a small sample size. So another productive year could push that near top of the league money. It appears a wait-and-see approach is forthcoming.

 

Trumaine Johnson, CB, LAR

Johnson was likely thrilled to be offered the 1 year $13.952M tag, a major pay raise for him. With this being his first shot at a full season as the clear #1 CB, it's likely the Rams allow him to play out this tag before extending him for the future. 

Johnson's production has been off the charts over the past two seasons, giving him a current calculated market value of $14.2M per year - up near the top of the cornerback market.

 

Justin Tucker, K, BAL

The Ravens certainly have no interest in letting Tucker go, so the franchise tag was likely a placeholder move. We fully expect the two sides to come to a multi-year agreement in the next month, with the outcome making Tucker the highest average paid kicker in the league. Stephen Gostkowski's (NE) $4.3M AAV currently holds that title.




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