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.