Franchise Rumors: Miller, Cousins, Norman

As we outlined shortly after Tuesday’s deadline, 10 NFL teams used their franchise or transition tags this year to secure at least the right of first refusal for potential free agents. While there’s no pressure on those players to sign those franchise or transition tenders anytime soon, Jason La Canfora of reported earlier today that at least one or two players, including Bills tackle Cordy Glenn, could sign those tenders sooner rather than later.

Signing a franchise tender ensures that a player is guaranteed his 2016 salary, and prevents the team from rescinding the offer down the road. It also precludes the player from exploring the market to see if there are any teams willing to sign him to an offer sheet, but there would be nothing stopping the player from continuing to work on an extension with his own team, prior to the July 15th deadline.

As we wait to see if any franchised players sign their tenders today, let’s round up a few items of interest relating to this year’s group of tag recipients…

  • Von Miller, the only player to receive an exclusive franchise tag before Tuesday’s deadline, is willing to take a “discount” on a long-term contract with the Broncos, says Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter links). As Breer points out though, it’s not clear whether Miller’s discount would apply to Ndamukong Suh‘s $19MM annual rate, or to Miller’s actual market value, which could exceed $20MM per year, according to rival executives. If the star pass rusher is only willing to accept less than his market value, that would still likely mean an average salary in the $18-19MM range.
  • Washington‘s long-term contract offers to quarterback Kirk Cousins have exceeded $16MM per year, according to Breer (Twitter links). However, Cousins’ camp is aiming for an annual average closer to the franchise-tag salary ($19.953MM). Still, Washington’s starting quarterback plans on signing his tender and reporting to offseason activities while the two sides continue to work on a multiyear extension.
  • Before the 2015 season began, the Panthers offered Josh Norman a five-year contract worth about $7.5MM annually, writes Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Needless to say, Norman’s price has gone up significantly since then, with Person suggesting the veteran cornerback is seeking a deal that exceeds $14MM per year. Norman’s franchise-tag salary is $13.952MM.
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