Just 48 hours ago, not one player had received a franchise tag. But now, with just over 48 hours remaining before the tag deadline is reached, 10 players have been slapped with tags. Here’s a quick rundown of where those tags have been handed out:
(In order of appearance; salary numbers are estimates.)
Eagles: WR DeSean Jackson ($9.4 million) — Philly is saying it is committed to getting a long-term deal done, but a trade isn’t a far-fetched notion at all.
Falcons: CB Brent Grimes ($10.6 million) — This could be the beginning of a soap opera, because there’s a chance Grimey holds out.
Cardinals: DE Calais Campbell ($10.6 million) — He’s approaching the peak of his career, but $10 million-plus is a lot of guaranteed money for a team with little cap space. I’d imagine they’ll get a deal done.
49ers: S Dashon Goldson ($6.2 million) — Goldson’s getting a huge raise after performing wonderfully under a one-year deal in 2011. Maybe the Niners will make him prove it in another “contract year.” Either way, this doesn’t bode well for Carlos Rogers, who’s likely to hit free agency. The good news is San Fran has the cash to sign Goldson and Rogers and give a long-term deal to Alex Smith.
Bengals: K Mike Nugent ($2.6 million) — Nugent gets a $2-million raise after a superb 2011 season.
Browns: K Phil Dawson ($3.8 million) — The 37-year-old has been with Cleveland since 1999. He’s coming off a great year, so the team might give him a long-term deal despite his age.
Raiders: S Tyvon Branch ($6.2 million) — The Raiders can’t afford to lose their top defensive back, but they also can’t really afford to give him over $6 million upfront, so they’ll be working hard on a long-term deal for the 25-year-old.
Redskins: TE Fred Davis ($5.4 million) — Coming off a big year despite a late-season suspension. This is the safest and smartest strategy, because they’ll get their money back if he screws up again.
Bears: Matt Forte ($7.7 million) — The Bears can afford to pay Forte long term, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense from a business standpoint. Forte and Rice are both 25 years old, but sadly, the smartest strategy the Ravens and Bears can take is to tag them for the next two seasons.
For an idea of what’s to come over the next two days, check out our franchise tag primer from last month.