The 2023 NFL off-season is in full swing. Tuesday marked the deadline for teams to use the Franchise Tag, which resulted in six players getting the tag and one new deal at the deadline by the New York Giants.
Daniel Jones gets paid
Jones was largely rumored to be getting a Franchise Tag if the team couldn’t work out a deal. Jones, who was a First Round draft choice in 2019, had his best season in 2022 under the tutelage of new Head Coach Brian Daboll. He finished 9-6-1 as a starter, throwing for a career high 67.2 percent completion and 3,205 yards with 15 touchdowns. He added 708 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns as the Giants made a return to the playoffs.
Jones was reportedly seeking a deal of more than $40 million a year. In the end, he got a four-year deal worth $160 million to remain with the Giants. With their quarterback secured, it allowed the team to place the non-exclusive Franchise Tag on running back Saquon Barkley, improving the chances the core of the Giants’ offense from 2022 is back in 2023.
Jackson gets the non-exclusive Tag
Quarterback Lamar Jackson couldn’t get a deal done with the Ravens, who also placed the non-exclusive Franchise Tag on him. This means Jackson can negotiate with other teams, but the Ravens have the right to match the offer or receive two First Round picks in return. Jackson, a First Round selection in 2018, has played with the Ravens for five years, a full-time starter for the past four seasons. He and the team have been negotiating for more than a year but haven’t been able to agree on terms.
Jackson is 45-16 as a starter and won the NFL MVP Award in 2019. He’s put up some impressive numbers, but he’s also missed 10 games the last two seasons due to injury. Still, Jackson figures to get interest from a number of other quarterback-needy teams, possibly paving the way for him to play somewhere else in 2023.
Other Franchise Tag recipients
In addition to Jackson and Barkley, four other players received the Franchise Tag. Running backs Josh Jacobs, with the Raiders, and Tony Pollard, with the Cowboys, both received the Franchise Tag. Those two combined with Barkley mean a number of strong candidates in this free agent class are largely off the board. In addition, the Jacksonville Jaguars placed the Franchise Tag on tight end Evan Engram, who had a strong 2022 campaign with the Jaguars.
The other player to receive the Franchise Tag was Washington defensive lineman Daron Payne. Payne, who was a First Round pick in the 2018 draft, has played with Washington all five years. He had a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2022.
With the Franchise Tag designations in place, the stage is set for free agency, which begins next week.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.
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