With the 2023 NFL offseason in full swing, each team begins evaluating players and coaches within the organization to try and improve the team for the future. With that being said, the NFL's franchise tag window is now wide open.
The NFL franchise tag allows teams to "tag" one player per offseason, who would be an unrestricted free agent that offseason. This means that the player would then play the whole next year with the team, with a yearly salary determined by the league office in advance.
Each position has a different guaranteed salary. This offseason, the franchise tag requirements for each position are as follows: for a quarterback, $32,416,000; for a linebacker, $20,926,000; for a wide receiver, $19,743,000; for a defensive end, $19,727,000; for a defensive tackle, $18,937,000; for an offensive lineman, $18,244,000; for a cornerback, $18,140,000; for safety, $14,460,000; for a tight end, $11,345,000; and for a running back, $10,091,000;
Now, while this number is based on the player’s previous year’s salary, it is set to be raised each year should the team want to franchise tag a player again in the following season. This does not happen extremely often, but ultimately it is an option for NFL executives around the league from year to year.
When does it make sense to move on from a player or sign them to a more structurally sound deal? This has been a question that league front offices have been dealing with since the emergence of the franchise tag in 1993. One of the biggest and most notable players that are up for free agency this season and thus are in consideration to be franchise tagged is Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Jackson was drafted by the organization out of the University of Louisville back in 2018 and holds a 45-16 record as a starter with the team. Teams must make their decision by Tuesday, March 7th, 2023, which leaves NFL front-office executives with a very busy plate until the deadline comes around.
So, what does this mean for teams around the league that might lose a star player in free agency? Pay your players.
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