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Notable 2018 Franchise Tag Candidates

Notable 2018 Franchise Tag Candidates

The window for NFL teams to begin applying franchise tags to current players opens on February 20th, lasting for two weeks. We’ll take a quick look at a few notable players who are likely destined for a tag, including the projected cost to do so. (actual franchise tag values won’t be known until the league solidifies the 2018 salary cap in a week or so. 


DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Cowboys
Projected Tag: $17.5M
Had a breakout season in a contract year. Dallas can barely afford to fit his $17M tag, but will do so anyway to keep him in the fold and work toward hammering out a long-term contract. A not as impressive 2016 keeps his calculated market value down near $14M.


Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins
Projected Tag: $16.3M
He’s averaging 100 catches and 1,000 per year since 2015, but Miami still seems reluctant to lock him in. A trade could still be very possible here. Landry holds a near $14M market value.


Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
Franchise Tag: $14.544M
A second tag means Bell will cost 120% of his 2017 salary, a scary figure for a running back in 2018. Pittsburgh seems to think they can get a long-term deal locked in, though the one they offered last year should still be good enough. At this point it might be smarter to ride him out for one more year and then get younger and cheaper going forward. His market value hovers near $11M. 

Sheldon Richardson, DT, Seahawks
Projected Tag: $14.5M
Richardson seems a really great fit in Seattle, especially as other parts of the defense appear to be falling off. After giving up a starting WR (Kearse), & a 2nd round pick, it would be silly to let him walk at this point. Allowing him to play out this tag might make the most sense in 2018, with uncertainly elsewhere. His value sits just under $12M


Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars
Projected Tag: $16.3M
$16M for a player who missed all of 2017 seems silly on paper, but with Marqise Lee headed to free agency, and Allen Hurns a likely cap casualty, Robinson will be much needed in 2018 and beyond. A strong 2016 has him valuing at $13.6M, right around Jarvis Landry’s mark. Some type of multi-year deal makes sense here.


Sammy Watkins, WR, Rams
Projected Tag: $16.3M
Watkins stayed relatively healthy in 2017 (something he hadn’t done prior to), but still wasn’t a major focal point in the Rams’ spread offense. Still, they gave up way too much (Gaines + 2nd round pick) to let him walk away, and are likely to move on from Tavon Austin in the coming weeks. A 1 year tender for Watkins seems safe, albeit pricey.



Also in the Mix 

Andrew Norwell, OG, Panthers
Projected Tag: $14.5M
Market Value: $11.7M
The tag is high, so if a long-term deal isn’t close to being done, Carolina may let him walk March 14th. He’s tough to replace.


Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Lions
Projected Tag: $17.5M
Market Value: $13.2M
Injuries have kept his production down, and his long-term risk high. He may walk.


Case Keenum, QB, Vikings
Projected Tag: $23M
Market Value: $21M
The Vikings QB position is the single most interesting of the offseason. This might be a late offer if they feel Cousins can’t be had. A transition tag is also an option here.