2019 Franchise Tag Candidates

NFLPA Projects 2019 Franchise Tag Values

With the NFL offseason rapidly approaching, the NFL Player’s Association recently unveiled their position-by-position franchise tag predictions (via Albert Breer of SI.com). The numbers are based on an $190MM salary cap; the league’s most recent projection came in between $187MM and $191.1MM.

Here are the union’s predicted values for each position:

  • Quarterback: $25.103MM
  • Running back: $11.322MM
  • Wide receiver: $16.948MM
  • Tight end: $10.486MM
  • Offensive line: $14.201MM
  • Defensive end: $17.291MM
  • Defensive tackle: $15.355MM
  • Linebacker: $15.591MM
  • Cornerback: $16.175MM
  • Safety: $11.256MM
  • Punter/kicker: $5.018MM

There numbers are about on par with former agent Joel’s Corry predictions from December. It’s also worth noting that these values see a significant boost over the 2018 numbers. As our own Dallas Robinson previously noted, Aaron Donald‘s new contract helped to drastically impact the defensive tackle value, while Trumaine Johnson and Kyle Fuller‘s deals impacted the cornerback number. As Breer writes, the linebacker number is impacted by edge players like Von Miller, meaning a team like the Vikings may be wary of franchising Anthony Barr.

Breer also notes that these rising numbers may play a role in less teams using the franchise tag. There were 19 players tagged back in 2012, but that number dropped all the way to five in 2018. The writer believes the franchise tag is now actually being used as intended, as it’s now only being used for “premier players at premier positions.”

Breer also points out that it will be a particularly deep free agent class for pass rushers and interior linemen, meaning teams will have some difficult financial decisions to make. Ultimately, the writer opines that Demarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Dee Ford, Frank Clark, and Grady Jarrett will receive the tag (Breer points out that safety Landon Collins, left tackle Donovan Smith, and quarterback Nick Foles are the players not in that grouping who could conceivably receive the tag).

The NFL generally sets their salary cap in early March, at which time we’ll receive franchise and transition tag values.

Looking Ahead To 2019 Franchise Tags

The NFL’s salary cap for 2019 won’t officially be set until sometime after the Super Bowl, but based on the direction the cap has trended in recent years, we have a general idea of where it may end up. Predicting an increase of about 7.22% on this year’s $177.2MM cap, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com projects a 2019 cap of $190MM, and uses that figure to get a sense of what next year’s franchise-tag figures would look like. So while the official amounts may end up looking a little different, these should be pretty close.

Here are the non-exclusive franchise tag amounts projected by Corry, using a presumed cap of $190M for 2019:

  • Quarterback: $23.189MM
  • Running back: $11.866MM
  • Wide receiver: $15.982MM
  • Tight end: $9.846MM
  • Offensive line: $14.077MM
  • Defensive end: $17.143MM
  • Defensive tackle: $13.939MM
  • Linebacker: $14.961MM
  • Cornerback: $14.975MM
  • Safety: $11.287MM
  • Punter/kicker: $4.939MM

All of those figures are modest increases over the 2018 amounts, which can be found right here. The most significant increase comes at defensive tackle, where a new contract for Aaron Donald helped boost that figure. Cornerback, which should see an increase of 8.01%, was buoyed by fresh deals for Trumaine Johnson and Kyle Fuller.

With those numbers in mind, Corry also examines a few potential candidates to be franchised or to receive the transition tag. Pass rushers such as Dee Ford, Jadeveon Clowney, and Frank Clark are perhaps the most obvious candidates for the tag, but Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, and Giants safety Landon Collins could also get franchised. For the full list, along with explanations, be sure to check out Corry’s piece, which is an interesting read.