For players facing the franchise tag, it almost always makes sense to force the team to use it
Daniel Jones. Lamar Jackson. Josh Jacobs. Evan Engram. Those players and others are staring at the franchise tag, if they don’t get long-term deals done by Tuesday’s deadline for applying it.
At this point, each player should force the application of the tag.
There’s no reason not to. Unless the team is offering a premium so that it can apply the tag to a different player (such as the Giants and running back Saquon Barkley), the player benefits from having the tag applied.
Yes, I know the franchise tag isn’t good for players. But when the choice is “accept a deal or get tagged,” it’s better to just take the tag. The long-term deal can be done later, on or before July 15. And if it isn’t, the application of the tag for the first time means that (math is hard) the next application during the player’s career will be No. 2. And the next will be No. 3.
With quarterback money or a 144-percent raise riding on the third tag, no player should do a deal under the team’s threat of being tagged. Take the tag and then do a deal under the player’s threat of following the Kirk Cousins path to free agency.
If a deal isn’t done, then the player potentially gets tagged again, setting the stage for a true shot at the open market.