NFL Franchise tag is an exclusive agreement each team is allowed to use on one player each offseason to prevent the player from leaving in free agency if a long-term contract is not reached. The Franchise tag contract takes the average salary of the top 5 players of each position and designates that for each position’s franchise tag salary.
For the most part franchise tags are rather expensive, but a great way to prevent a player from hitting the open market. Players usually sign one franchise tag and if a team does not work on a contract extension by the second year players usually refuse to sign a second franchise tag and a contract dispute happens between the player and the team.
Bears WR Allen Robinson $18 million
Allen Robinson is a huge keep for the Chicago Bears as he was expected to be one of the top receivers to reach free agency. Losing Robinson would have been really bad for the Bears as he is the clear No. 1 receiver in Chicago.
In 2020 Robinson led the Bears with a career-high 102 receptions, 1,250 yards, and seven touchdowns. With Robinson staying in Chicago JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kenny Golladay are the top receivers on the market.
Broncos S Justin Simmons $13.729
Justin Simmons is one of the best safeties in the league and easily one of the best players on the Broncos. If Simmons hit the free-agent market teams would have thrown a lot of money at him. Denver needs to try and work on a long-term contract with Simmons as he is a leader on the defense and someone they will want to keep around for a long time.
Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin $15.983 million
Tampa Bay enters the 2021 season as the defending Super Bowl champions and is doing everything in their power to keep their team assembled. By franchise tagging Chris Godwin the Bucs kept their offensive weapons intact and also re-signed linebacker Lavonte David. The return of Tom Brady, Mike Evans, and Chirs Godwin is great for the Buccaneers. Godwin
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott $37.7 million
The Dallas Cowboys placed an exclusive rights franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott, but this is simply a procedural move before Prescott signed his four-year $160 million contract extension that was announced Monday. Prescott was franchise tagged by the Cowboys a year ago and now that the second tag was placed he can no longer be franchised by the Dallas Cowboys and in four years he will be able to enter free agency and there is nothing Dallas can do about it.
Giants DT Leonard Williams $16.126 million
The Giants acquired Leonard Williams in a trade with the New York Giants and this trade has turned out to be an absolute slam dunk. Williams has produced to the degree of why he was originally drafted sixth overall coming out of USC.
In 2020 Williams dominated setting career highs with 11.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and 30 quarterback hits. It’s huge for the Giants to keep Williams, but now it is even harder for New York to keep fellow defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson who is entering free agency.
Panthers OT Taylor Moton $13.754 million
Moton is another former second-round pick that Carolina could not afford to let go of. Moton out of Western Michigan has performed very well and with Christian McCaffrey doing almost everything on offense it is smart to keep a solid offensive lineman from reaching free agency.
Jaguars OT Cam Robinson $13.754 million
With the full expectation that Jacksonville will be drafting a quarterback with the No. 1 pick in the draft, most likely Trevor Lawrence will be very happy to see that lineman Cam Robinson will be back at tackle to protect his blindside. Robinson, a former second-round pick out of Alabama has done very well since coming into the league and good left tackles are hard to come by.
Jets S Marcus Maye $10.612 million
Marcus Maye is one of the best players on the Jets defense and someone they could not afford to lose. By tagging Maye the Jets give themselves some time to work out a new contract with the former second-round pick. In 2020 Maye had a career-high 88 total tackles, four tackles for loss, and 11 passes defended.
Saints S Marcus Williams $10.612 million
The New Orleans Saints are in salary cap hell right now but still decided to tag Marcus Williams. Williams is a very good back-end player for the Saints and it will be interesting to see what they will do to clear up salary cap space.
Keeping Williams in the secondary is important for New Orleans playing in the NFC South facing receivers like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, D.J. Moore, and Julio Jones.
Washington G Brandon Scherff $18.036 million
The Washington Football Team’s offensive line has seen plenty of different faces over the years. Scherff has been consistent and very good since being drafted by Washington.
With the trade of left tackle Trent Williams, Scherff is the leader of the Washington offensive line that has questions facing the quarterback position. Scherff is a four-time pro bowler. Scherff was franchise tagged a year ago by Washington and earned $13 million.