Before on-field activities actually begin at training camp, there’s one more offseason date to pass: the franchise tag extension deadline.
Eight players across the league were franchise tagged way back in March. Some quickly signed long-term extensions, while others signed their one-year franchise tender. On the other hand, some players still haven’t signed their tenders and others were traded after being tagged.
With the extension deadline fast approaching, it’s time for a refresher on the last major transactional date of the 2022 NFL offseason.
Here’s everything you need to know about franchise tags and potential extensions:
What is a franchise tag?
The franchise tag is a clause used by teams to keep a player from reaching free agency. It locks the player into a one-year, slotted contract called a franchise tender that keeps the player with his club for the upcoming season. Players are not required to sign the franchise tender, but if they don’t, they are unable to play for any team during the season.
From the moment a team uses a franchise tag, it can negotiate a long-term contract with the player until mid-July. If the player and team reach a long-term contract agreement, the franchise tender is voided and the new contract takes its place. No other American sport besides the NFL uses the franchise tag system.
Can a player play on the franchise tag?
Yes, by signing the one-year franchise tender.
The franchise tender salary is calculated based on position, using the average of the five largest salaries at that position. So, if a quarterback is franchise tagged, his franchise tender salary would be an average of the five highest-paid NFL quarterbacks.
Typically, players prefer not to play on the franchise tag and would rather work out a long-term deal or get traded to a team willing to offer it. Six NFL players played on the franchise tag in 2021: the Jaguars’ Cam Robinson, Bears’ Allen Robinson, Saints’ Marcus Williams, Bucs’ Chris Godwin, Commanders’ Brandon Scherff and Jets’ Marcus Maye.
As of now, two players have signed the franchise tender for 2022: the Cowboys’ Dalton Schultz and Dolphins’ Mike Gesicki. Chiefs OT Orlando Brown Jr. and Bengals S Jessie Bates III have been offered the tender but insist they won’t play without a long-term extension, and thus haven’t signed the tender.
When is the NFL franchise tag contract extension deadline?
Friday, July 15, 2022 at 4 p.m. ET.
If the player and team can’t agree on an extension by this time, the sides are ineligible to continue negotiations. The player can either play out the season on the tag or hold out until free agency again next March.
Who was franchise tagged in 2022?
Here is the full list of franchise tagged players in 2022 and their status for the upcoming season:
- Cam Robinson, Jaguars – signed three-year, $54 million extension
- Chris Godwin, Buccaneers – signed three-year, $60 million extension
- David Njoku, Browns – signed four-year, $56.75 million extension
- Davante Adams, Packers – traded to Raiders, signed five-year, $140 million extension
Still seeking extensions
- Dalton Schultz, Cowboys – signed franchise tender (one-year, $10.931 million)
- Mike Gesicki, Dolphins – signed franchise tender (one-year, $10.931 million)
- Orlando Brown Jr., Chiefs – offered franchise tender (one-year, $16.662 million)
- Jessie Bates III, Bengals – offered franchise tender (one-year, $12.911 million)