No franchise tag-related training camp absences are set to commence this year. Each member of the 2021 tag contingent has now either signed his tender or agreed to terms on an extension.
Shortly after Marcus Maye signed his Jets tender, Saints safety Marcus Williams signed his, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This will prevent the Saints from rescinding Williams’ tag. His $10.6MM tender is now fully guaranteed. A former third-round pick, Williams has been a Saints starter since his rookie season. He has become one of the NFL’s top safeties, leading to the Saints’ tag decision.
Tagged players are often not in a rush to sign tenders, leading to belated camp arrivals on some occasions. This year, Williams, Maye, Taylor Moton, Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, Cam Robinson and Brandon Scherff signed their tenders within a week of being tagged. Justin Simmons and Leonard Williams have agreed to extensions. So did Dak Prescott, but his second franchise tag was a formality that ensued after he signed a long-term Cowboys deal.
Even as franchise tag prices (for first-time tag recipients) dropped this year, it made more sense for players to protect themselves against teams rescinding their respective tags. With the salary cap reduction resulting in a less lucrative market (in most cases), a team rescinding a tag now could result in a player being thrust into free agency at an inopportune time.
The Saints surprised many by tagging Williams, doing so after creating a staggering amount of cap space entering the 2021 league year. New Orleans has been quiet on the market, as could be expected, and would be better off by extending Williams to drop his 2021 cap hit. But they found a way to use their franchise tag despite a historic cap crunch. They have until July 15 to extend Williams, who joins Alvin Kamara, Ryan Ramczyk and Marshon Lattimore in remaining with the team from the 2017 draft class. The Saints can also create cap space with extensions for Ramczyk and Lattimore, who are attached to fifth-year option salaries.
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