The NFL announced that they have awarded a total of 32 compensatory picks to 16 different teams. Compensatory draft picks are given to clubs who lose more or better compensatory free agents (CFAs) than it acquires in the previous year. Those picks are slotted within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the free agents lost.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that there are no more than 32 compensatory picks granted each year. Due to that wrinkle, the Rams (one pick), Packers (one pick), Steelers (two picks), and Cardinals (three picks) will not receive those picks in accordance with the formula. Each of those four clubs will receive compensatory selections for other CFAs lost whose final numerical values ranked within the top 32.
This year, there is one notable change to the compensatory draft selection rules: teams can now trade those picks.
Click below for the full rundown:
The Giants are trying to bring back every key member of their excellent defense, and while that would include retaining Johnathan Hankins, re-signing the 325-pound defensive tackle is easier said than done, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. Hankins managed three sacks and 10 quarterback hits from the defensive interior, and given that he’s still only 24 years old, Hankins figures to break the bank in free agency. After speaking to a panel that includes executives and agents, Raanan pegs Hankins’ value at five years, $43MM, with $18MM in guarantees.
Schwartz, 30, spent last summer on the Lions’ offseason roster after signing a one-year, minimum salary benefit deal with Detroit. Expected to serve as a reserve at several positions along the line, Schwartz was waived at the end of August. As he writes in his retirement piece, Schwartz fully expected to land another contract after parting ways with the Lions, but after weeks passed with no contact from interested clubs, Schwartz realized his career was likely over.
Nevertheless, Schwartz’s seven-year NFL run can’t be considered anything other than a success, especially given that Schwartz entered the league as seventh-round pick and suffered a devastating hip injury soon after becoming an established starter. After bouncing around with the Panthers and Vikings, Schwartz played his best ball with the Chiefs in 2013, grading as one of the best guards in the NFL.
After parlaying his seven-game starter stint in Kansas City into a four-year deal with the Giants, Schwartz dealt with injury once again, managing to play in only 13 games over two seasons thanks to ankle, toe, and leg issues. Having struggled to stay on the field, Schwartz was released by New York last February.
Schwartz has already begun his post-NFL career in media: not only does he pen excellent pieces at SB Nation, but he’s co-authored a book with his brother, Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz. For offensive line junkies, Schwartz’s Twitter account is a must-follow, as is his podcast.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankins are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 9, but “word on the street” is the Giants will make a run at re-signing both players, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com.
New York’s interest in retaining Pierre-Paul has been relayed before, and isn’t surprising given that he graded as the league’s No. 13 edge defender according to Pro Football Focus, helping propel Big Blue to a second-place finish in defensive DVOA. However, as one of the better pass rushers available, JPP won’t be without suitors should he reach the open market, which is why the Giants could consider extending him the franchise tag before free agency begins.
The franchise tender for defensive ends is expected to come in near $17MM, so a tag for Pierre-Paul would eat up a decent chunk of New York’s ~$31.5MM in cap space. But given that JPP has indicated he won’t accept another one-year deal (after being forced to sign for a single season last March), the franchise tag gives the Giants another option to keep Pierre-Paul around, especially when the alternative is handing him an offer comparable with Olivier Vernon.
Hankins, meanwhile, doesn’t have the track record of a Pierre-Paul, but at age-24, he’s one of the youngest players set to hit the open market, a fact which will certainly entice clubs. Playing next to Damon Harrison in New York’s base 4-3 defense, Hankins managed 816 defensive snaps, 10th-most among tackles, but graded as just the No. 72 interior player among 127 qualifiers, per PFF. A franchise tag for Hankins — unlikely as it is — would cost roughly $13.5MM.
The Giants spent the fourth-most cap space on defensive linemen in 2016, and if Pierre-Paul and Hankins are re-signed, may dart to the top of that particular ranking in 2017.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
We learned yesterday that at least a few GMs are concerned about how much Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has left and whether or not he’d be willing to accept a contract commensurate with a running back on the downside of his career. The Giants are one team that Peterson has indicated he would like to play for if he does not remain in Minnesota, but as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes, Big Blue has expressed no interest in acquiring the former league MVP (although the Giants have not indicated that they are uninterested either, Peterson just does not appear to fit from a schematic standpoint). Of course, the more teams that drop out of the Peterson race, or decline to enter the race at all, the more likely it is that he will stay with the Vikings on a lesser salary.
Running back Adrian Peterson reportedly has interest in joining the Giants if he’s released by the Vikings this offseason, and last night the veteran back sent out a cryptic tweet that will only add fuel to the Big Blue fire. “The Giants been making some interesting moves,” tweeted Peterson, presumably referring to New York’s release of running back Rashad Jennings and wide receiver Victor Cruz. The Giants might be interested in Peterson if he comes at an affordable price, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes, but the 31-year-old doesn’t appear to be a scheme fit. Peterson averages roughly 1.2 fewer yards per carry out of the shotgun, and New York uses the shotgun formation on two-thirds of its offensive snaps, as Evan Silva and Raymond Summerlin of Rotoworld tweet.
- Now that the Giants have released Cruz, the club could be on the lookout for a wide receiver in free agency, as Ralph Vacchiano of SNY writes. While New York is unlikely to target expensive options such as Alshon Jeffery or Terrelle Pryor, the Rams’ Kenny Britt or the Ravens’ Kamar Aiken could make sense next to Odell Beckham Jr. Earlier this year, PFR’s Connor Byrne tossed out Brandon LaFell (Bengals), Terrance Williams (Cowboys), and Justin Hunter (Bills) as pass-catchers who could be on the Giants’ radar.
Starting today, NFL teams will be able to place franchise and transition tags on potential free agents for the first time. While the window for franchise tags is open, most clubs won’t actually tag any players right away.
As our list of important dates for the 2017 offseason shows, the deadline for teams to assign those tags doesn’t come until Wednesday, March 1st. Usually, when it comes to NFL contract discussions, deadlines spur action, so teams will wait until that deadline approaches to officially use franchise tags, once it becomes clear that they won’t be able to strike a longer-term deal yet with their respective free-agents-to-be.
Even though the action might not heat up for a couple more weeks, it’s worth taking a closer look at what to expect during 2017’s franchise tag period. The NFL hasn’t officially announced the salary cap figure for 2017, but former agent Joel Corry of CBSSports.com recently projected the 2017 franchise tag salaries based on a presumed $168MM cap. Here are the expected non-exclusive franchise tag amounts:
- Quarterback: $21.395MM
- Running back: $12.377MM
- Wide receiver: $15.826MM
- Tight end: $9.894MM
- Offensive line: $14.444MM
- Defensive end: $16.955MM
- Defensive tackle: $13.468MM
- Linebacker: $14.754MM
- Cornerback: $14.297MM
- Safety: $10.961MM
- Punter/kicker: $4.863MM
(For a refresher on the characteristics of the exclusive and non-exclusive franchise tags, as well as the transition tag, be sure to check out PFR’s glossary entry on the subject.)
Here’s our look at the most likely candidates to be tagged, along with several more outside possibilities:
Chandler Jones, DE, Cardinals: Maybe Jones should headline a category titled “Super Duper Virtual Locks.” In January, coach Bruce Arians said that the Cards would apply the franchise tag to Jones if they were unable to immediately lock him up to a long-term deal. Then, just this week, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill offered additional confirmation of that plan. The $16.955MM tag will be applied to Jones in the next couple of weeks and the two sides will then have until the summer to work out a long-term deal. The odds of a longer pact coming together seem pretty good, considering the Cardinals knew what they were getting themselves into when they traded for Jones last year.
Kawann Short, DT, Panthers: Panthers head coach Ron Rivera admits that Short will “probably” be tagged and, unlike ex-teammate Josh Norman, Short doesn’t have a problem with it. The 28-year-old was the third-best defensive tackle in the NFL last year, according to Pro Football Focus, and the Panthers will gladly pay him ~$13.5MM on a one-year deal. A multi-year agreement could require an average annual value of $17MM, so our early guess is that Short will wind up actually playing on the tender.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers: We’ve known for a while now that the Steelers will use the franchise tag on Bell. For all of his off-the-field headaches, Bell still stands as one of the league’s most dynamic running backs and a one-year, $12.3MM deal would suit Pittsburgh just fine. Sometime after the tag is in place, we’re expecting the two sides to agree on a long-term deal. As I wrote in our most recent edition of the Free Agent Power Rankings, Bell will top LeSean McCoy‘s ~$8MM AAV and Doug Martin‘s $15MM in guarantees on a new multiyear pact. Of course, other factors such as cash flow will be pivotal in talks, particularly given the limited shelf life of running backs.
As expected, the Giants have re-signed tight end Will Tye, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. Tye was an exclusive rights free agent, meaning that the Giants were able to retain him at a very low cost. He gets a one-year, $615K contract.
As reported on Tuesday, the Giants also retained ERFA tight end Matt LaCosse and defensive tackle Robert Thomas. Meanwhile, fullback Nikita Whitlock and wide receiver Ben Edwards were told they would not be back after missing 2016 with injuries.
Tye, 25, made ten starts last season and had 48 catches for 395 yards and one touchdown. The Stony Brook is now one of three tight ends on the depth chart along with LaCosse and Jerell Adams. In theory, Tye would probably be the starter if the season began today, but you can expect the Giants to add at least one tight end via the draft or free agency.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Placing the estimated $16.955MM franchise tag on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul wouldn’t be ideal for the Giants, but they’ll have no other choice if they can’t reach a deal with the pass rusher by March 1, writes Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. While tagging Pierre-Paul would take a major bite out of the Giants’ cap room, it would keep an integral piece of their defense from hitting the open market and enable the team to continue working to re-sign him. That would be the Giants’ plan, per Vacchiano, who notes that the club would regard the tag as a placeholder in Pierre-Paul’s case. The Giants are currently pushing to re-sign JPP and will have until July 15 to reach a long-term agreement if they make him their franchise player.