Extra Points: Tags, Riley, Cap, Panthers

The NFLPA seems unlikely to fight for the removal of the franchise/transition tag during the next collective bargaining agreement negotiations, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. As Graziano notes, players aren’t expected to “go to the mat” over an issue that will never affect the majority of the league. Franchise tags, of course, don’t prevent a player from leaving his incumbent team, but they do place serious restrictions on a player’s ability to navigate the open market. Any club wishing to sign a franchise player must sacrifice two first-round picks in order to do so. In 2018, just five players received a franchise tag, while one — Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller — was issued a transition tag.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley‘s success at the collegiate level has led to speculation that he could eventually make the leap to the NFL level, and Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reported earlier this year that pro teams were attempting to pick Riley’s brain. While that’s not surprising given the exciting offensive scheme run by the Sooners, Breer also noted NFL clubs could soon make overtures to the 34-year-old. However, Riley attempted to downplay any NFL interest earlier today, according to Jori Epstein of the Dallas Morning News“That got blown out of proportion a little bit,” said Riley, who took over for Bob Stoops in 2017. Riley currently earns $3.1MM annually as part of a contract that runs through 2022.
  • NFL teams aren’t using the uncertainty of the impending collective bargaining agreement negotiations to their benefit, as Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap tweets. The current CBA only runs through 2020, so clubs should be altering contracts that run past that season to use more current cap space, explains Fitzgerald. While the CBA now allows teams to carry over cap space each year, there’s no guarantee that provision will remain in the next agreement. Therefore, teams should be deploying all the cap space they can now before the rules possibly change.
  • The Panthers have announced several changes to their coaching staff, including the promotion of Richard Rodgers to secondary coach and Jeff Imamura to assistant secondary coach. Rodgers will replace Curtis Fuller, who resigned earlier this year following allegations of workplace misconduct. Formerly Carolina’s safeties coach, Rodgers had 23 years of collegiate experience under his belt before joining the Panthers in 2012. The Panthers ranked 11th in pass defense DVOA a season ago, meaning they were relatively efficient when compared to other NFL clubs.
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