Why Commanders aren't expected to use franchise tag this year


Beginning Tuesday and running up to March 8, NFL teams can apply the franchise tag to any one of its pending free agents. The Commanders, however, won't be in any rush to use that tool.

While upper-echelon players like Davante Adams, Jessie Bates III, Mike Williams and Harold Landry could all be tagged in the next couple of weeks, Washington isn't expected to do the same with any of their guys because, well, they don't employ anyone who's that taggable. 

Brandon Scherff is easily the Commanders' most famous soon-to-be free agent, yet he's already played on the tag the last two campaigns. By rule, he'd be in line for a sizable raise in 2022 if the organization wanted to make it three in a row and seeing as the team already paid him $18 million for just 11 games last year, that just isn't a sensible proposition.

Aside from Scherff, the rest of Washington's pending free agents aren't worth the tag, the value of which is determined by the average of the previous season's five largest salaries for players at the position.

As useful as JD McKissic is, for instance, a planet in the universe does not exist where he should be paid like Christian McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara. If McKissic does re-sign with the Commanders, he'll do so at a much more manageable rate than what the franchise tag would give him.

That logic carries over to other pending free agents like Cam Sims, Bobby McCain, Adam Humphries, Cornelius Lucas, DeAndre Carter, Joey Slye and Tim Settle.


Are all of those players contributors? Sure. Are they deserving of seriously-hefty paydays for one year of work? No, and that right there is an example of a pretty useless rhetorical question. 

Thus ends the conversation about whether the Commanders will be deploying the franchise tag in the coming days. Sorry if this story felt too matter-of-fact, but that's only because the topic at hand is that way, too.