Will the Philadelphia Eagles find a trade partner for quarterback Nick Foles? The clock starts ticking Tuesday, when the NFL's window for putting franchises on players opens.
The franchise tag is a labor designation that restricts a player's potential movement in exchange for a high one-year salary. Each team can take the franchise on one pending free agent, which is expensive but also provides massive leverage against a player's release, making the team return if that player ultimately departs.
Teams have until March 5 (at 4 pm ET) put franchise tags on their most valuable players.
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The expected salary for quarterbacks with the franchise designation in 2019 is $ 25 million. The Eagles' trade options on the franchise designation – they can't carry on the books at that number as a backup to Carson Wentz. But if there is competition among quarterback-needy teams who wish to sign foles, the eagles can put the tag on him and then make a trade Pro Bowl defenders Jadeveon Clowney and C.J. Mosley are among other players who are candidates to be tagged this offseason.
NFL Nation reporters predict whether teams will use the tag and, if so, on which players (in alphabetical order by team):
Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett
The Falcons keep saying that signing Jarrett to a long term extension is a top priority, but it hasn't happened yet. Talks were tabled during the season but should be in full swing now after the team cleared more than $ 15 million in space following the releases of CB Robert Alford, K Matt Bryant and DE Brooks Reed. If the sites don't come to an agreement, tagging Jarrett at a price of around $ 15.5 million for 2019 could be an option, although the Falcons haven't used the tag freely over the years.
Prediction: Based on the Falcons' history with their marquee players, expect Jarrett to get a long-term deal that keeps the team from using the franchise tag. – Vaughn McClure
Linebacker C.J. Mosley
New Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta wouldn't deny that the tag is a play for Mosley. It's just not very practical. Using the projected $ 15 million tag on Mosley would be more than half of Baltimore's available cap space. Mosley is the leading tackler for the NFL's top-ranked defense and is one of the core leaders on the team. But there could be debate whether Mosley deserves to be the highest-paid middle linebacker in the game. Asked if the Ravens would consider the tag for Mosley, DeCosta said, "I think everything is on the table right now. I definitely hope that CJ is back. I believe in my heart that he will be."
Prediction: The Ravens won't put the franchise tag on Mosley, but they will end up retaining him in free agency. All sides are optimistic about getting a deal done. – – Jamison Hensley
Defensive than DeMarcus Lawrence
The Cowboys want to avoid putting the tag on Lawrence for a second year. He made $ 17.1 million in 2018 on the tag and would make $ 20.5 million in 2019. The cowboys wanted to see if Lawrence could repeat his production from 2017 and did, putting up 10.5 sacks with 39 quarterback pressures and earning a second Pro Bowl node. A year ago, there seemed to be little hope and a long-term deal could be done. This year, there seems to be a little more optimism, even with a tight window to negotiate. If the cows use the tag on Lawrence again, they run the risk of not showing off the off-season program, minicamp, training camp and potentially regular-season games.
Prediction: The Cowboys know it will be costly, but ultimately a contract should be finalized, and they will not use the tag. – Todd Archer
Defensive than Jadeveon Clowney
To be determined whether he'll be tagged as a defensive end or in linebacker, and the difference is roughly $ 1 million. Clowney has 18.5 sacks the past two seasons and has missed only one game in that team after missing 17 in his first three seasons. He has become a major disruptor and the Texans would love to keep him paired with a healthy J.J. Watt. Clowney stepped up as the Texans' top pass rusher when Watt missed 11 games in 2017. The Texans have roughly $ 64 million in cap space so it will not be a strain to him, which would give them extra time to work out a long-term deal.
Prediction: Expect the Texans to use the tag on Clowney. – Michael DiRocco
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Outside linebacker Dee Ford
The Chiefs appear motivated to retain Ford, whether it's a long-term contract or as the franchise player. Ford would cost about $ 15 million on the franchise tag. He indicated during the season that he would sign the tender if he's tagged, calling that decision a "no-brainer." It would be a shame for the chiefs to watch Ford play for another team after he finally fulfilled the promise that led them to draft him in the first round in 2014. "When we drafted Dee a few years ago, all those things that we envisioned for him, he kind of showed that he was that player. … We are excited about bringing him back, "general manager Brett Veach said.
Prediction: Look for the Chiefs to tag Ford, absent a long-term deal. – Adam Teicher
Outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr.
The Rams have made a habit in recent years of using the franchise tag, most recently on safety Lamarcus Joyner and previously on cornerback Trumaine Johnson (in back-to-back seasons But this season, the tag could be used on Fowler. The Rams traded for Fowler at midseason as a short-term rental and the first-round pick provided and needed presence from the edge. would be at the cost of a defensive end, which would amount to more than $ 17 million. That's a steep price tag on a roster that is also needed for defensive and potentially a safety. the playoffs, Fowler had 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
Prediction: The Rams will not use the tag on Fowler. – Lindsey Thiry
Linebacker Anthony Barr
The Vikings knew they'd face a tough decision with Barr when they opted to extend the forms first-rounder last offseason, which then puts him in the position to play out his fifth-year option. Minnesota has to decide whether to spend the estimated $ 15 million on a franchise tag to keep Barr around – or possibly plan to trade him soon after. Barr smoothed out up to down season toward the end of 2018, recording the first multiple sack game of his NFL career and generating 23 total quarterback pressures on 94 rushes, according to Pro Football Focus. While he has said he wanted to return to Minnesota, Barr expressed a desire to keep all of his options open if he hits free agency. "I know my worth and I know what I've got to do for me," Barr said at the Pro Bowl. Though Barr has been an integral part of Mike Zimmer's defense since it was drafted in 2014, for a team up against the salary cap, spending that amount on retaining barrels that the Vikings will find his replacement in the draft or elsewhere.
Prediction: The Vikings will not use the tag on Barr. – Courtney Cronin
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski
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The Patriots could strike an extension with Gostkowski before free agency, but if they don't, assigning him the franchise tag would help them maintain some leverage to keep him in the fold in 2019. While the tag of about $ 5 million is more than the club would project to pay on an annual basis as part of a multiyear deal, it could be a placeholder until the sides hammer out a longer pact. Some might ask. The thinking is that their franchise tag numbers would be too high for the team's equation.
Prediction: The patriots will not use the tag on Gostkowski and will sign him to an extension. – Mike Reiss
Safety Landon Collins
The Giants are in any position to allow 25-year-old defensive playmakers to walk. Collins wants to stay and get paid top safety money. But given the unpredictability of the safety market the past few years and his position (strong safety), it's going to be hard to find the middle ground that suits both parties.
Prediction: That will leave Collins destined for the safety franchise tag to close to $ 11 million for 2019. – Jordan Raanan
Quarterback Nick Foles
The Eagles are hoping to get some value in return via tag and trade as they move on from the former Super Bowl MVP. With the franchise number for quarterbacks expected to be around $ 25 million, Philly needs to have a trade partner lined up before going down this road. If the trade does not materialize, the Eagles can let the foles walk and set for a compensatory pick in 2020.
Prediction: dance partner and successfully executes a tag and trade. – Tim McManus
Running back Le'Veon Bell
Designing Bell the franchise player for the third straight year is unlikely. Bell's yearlong hold out goodwill with the team, and with many around the league believing his third tag is worth $ 20-plus-million, Bell's holdout is not outstanding, the Steelers either would not pay to or would allocate the cap space to keep the tag in place. The transition tag is more useful, especially if the Steelers can prove it worth around $ 9.5 million instead of $ 14.5 million of Bell's absence in 2018. But Bell can't be traded unless it signs the steelers utilize an offer sheet for a convoluted sign-and-trade plan, which is risky if other teams are interested in the sacrificial sheet's numbers. Plus, the NFLPA would be such a move that violates the spirit of the tag and the collective bargaining agreement.
Prediction: The Steelers will not use any tag on Bell. – Jeremy Fowler
Kicker Robbie Gould When: April 25-27
Where: Nashville, Tennessee
How to watch: ABC / ESPN / ESPN App
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league in his two seasons in San Francisco, converting 96 percent of his 75 field goal attempts. That kind of production makes him a valuable commodity in a league where kickers seem to miss clutch kicks on a regular basis. The franchise number for kickers in 2019 is expected to come in somewhere around $ 5 million, a number of Niners can easily absorb, given they should have between $ 60 million and $ 70 million in cap space. Ideally, the 49ers would like to sign an extension before free agency, and the sides had talks toward that, but it's hard to imagine a scenario that they just let him go with no better option clearly available. ] Prediction: If no deal is struck, Gould will be tagged and will continue. – Nick Wagoner
Defensive than Frank Clark
The franchise tag has seemed likely since Clark's agent told ESPN.com in October that his client is willing to wait for a deal that makes him one of the NFL's highest-paid pass-rushers, even if it means playing on a tag first. "We plan on Frank being with us," Pete Carroll coach said at the end of the season, apparently indicating that the Seahawks will tag Clark if they have two. Clark turns 26 in June. He's coming off his best season and his 32 sacks since 2016 are ninth most in that team, so it's almost impossible to imagine the Seahawks letting him get to free agency. With well over $ 50 million in projected 2019 cap space, the Seahawks can easily absorb the $ 17 million to $ 18 million charge that would come with the tag.
Prediction: Clark gets tagged and the two sides continue to negotiate a long-term deal. – Brady Henderson
Offensive tackle Donovan Smith
Smith will be back with the Bucs in 2019. The question is whether it's under the franchise tag or a long-term deal. He has started 64 consecutive games, second for any left tackle in the league behind Jake Matthews. That would make Smith the top left tackle in the free-agent market. Yes, he has shined at times, but he also has some issues with consistency. Please note that just 25 years old, the Bucs believe he has reached his ceiling and his greatest asset is his durability.
Prediction: If the Bucs can't work out a long-term deal, which is believed to be in the ballpark or $ 12 million to $ 13 million per year, they'll franchise him at an estimated $ 14,077 million for one year. – Jenna Laine