The NFL’s 2021 deadline for filing franchise tags expired Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
Ten players were franchises: Carolina Panthers OT Taylor Moton, Chicago Bears WR Allen Robinson, Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Denver Broncos S. Justin Simmons, Jacksonville Jaguars OT Cam Robinson, New Orleans Saints S. Marcus Williams, New York Giants DT Leonard Williams, New York Jets S Marcus Maye, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin and Washington Football Team G Brandon Scherff.
Prescott received an “exclusive” day in a procedural step that prevents him from negotiating with other teams before closing the $ 160 million four-year deal he signed on Monday.
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Now let’s get to the winners and losers of the day of the day:
Prescott: He triumphs by avoiding the gimmicks (essentially) – by catching a mega-deal that includes a record $ 66 million bonus as part of his $ 75 million profit for 2021. Oh, and he won’t have to ask another question about his contract status … until at least 2023.
Trevor Lawrence: The putative # 1 of the 2021 draft tonight may be easier to know that the Jags are keeping Robinson, who is accused of watching the Clemson star’s back … and surgically repairing the left (non-throwing) shoulder too to have.
Buccaneers: They kept Godwin and reached a new deal with LB Lavonte David, their longtime defensive supporter. Sure, the champions have a lot more to do with OLB Shaquil Barrett (the team’s 2020 franchise player), WR Antonio Brown, RB Leonard Fournette, TE Rob Gronkowski, K Ryan Succop and DL Ndamukong Suh, but at least a couple Trunnions return.
Trent Williams: Pro Football Focus’ top-rated tackle in 2020, his contract excluded a San Francisco 49ers label. Now it’s up to the Niners to close a deal with the eight-time Pro Bowler before the market opens next week – as there will certainly be high demand for Williams’ services … especially the Robinson and Moton franchise.
QBs designed in 2018: Browns’ Baker Mayfield, Bills’ Josh Allen (he finished second in the 2020 MVP vote) and Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, who received the MVP award in 2019, qualify for their own Megabucks three years after each first-round selection. Prescott’s raising the bar should only help the rest of them realize their own problems.
Aaron Jones: The ascending return is only 26 and has rolled up over 3,000 yards and 30 TDs prior to the scrimmage in the past two seasons. If the Green Bay Packers can’t re-sign it soon, Jones may be fine to cash in rather than attaching to a humble position sign for his position.
Collateral: They are like the setbacks in defense – so often undervalued and underestimated. But with Simmons, Maye, and Marcus Williams everyone will be making eight-digit salaries in 2021.
Teams looking for pass rushers: The Bucs’ Barrett, Titans’ Jadeveon Clowney, Steelers’ Bud Dupree, Rams’ Leonard Floyd, Saints’ Trey Hendrickson, Colts’ Justin Houston, Chargers’ Melvin Ingram III, Ravens’ Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue and Cardinals’ Haason Reddick are all hired to work as a freelance agency – and in a year in which the upper salary limit is subject to a market correction due to COVID-19. To distinguish oneself as a buyer’s market in an always critical position.
Pass Rushers: Leonard Williams should probably consider himself lucky he was tagged a second time – he’s set to make at least $ 19.35 million in 2021 – as so many of his peers below the depressed cap are unlikely to make a top dollar. Barrett in particular, in a recent SiriusXM interview, expressed a desire to “break the bank” but may find that this safe could be difficult to crack. And Dupree is the classic case in which gamers hate the franchise tag. Dupree was a full back defender in Pittsburgh for six years – including 2020 when he played on the tag – and played well last season before suffering a ripped ACL in December. This breach will make it difficult to maximize its value in 2021.
Aaron Rodgers: The league’s newly elected MVP has probably just said goodbye to Jones and All-Pro C Corey Linsley … and the Packers didn’t even bring JJ Watt to Wisconsin as consolation. We may not see the big picture in the free hand this early, but the 2020 issue – the pack not offering its quarterback enough help – seems to be bleeding as early as 2021.
Robinson: He’s been campaigning for a new contract for some time – and a player who catches 200 balls on the Bear’s offense in two years deserves one – but seems to be on his way back to Chicago, where Nick Foles is currently the focus should stand.
Salary cap for bears: Per Over The Cap, Chicago is nearly $ 20 million over budget after Robinson was tagged. Such expenses make it extremely difficult to upgrade Foles.
Broad recipient market: With Robinson and Godwin, clubs seeking help from Wideout need to turn their attention to Kenny Golladay, Will Fuller V and Corey Davis – all players who have reached the potential of the # 1 recipient but have not consistently fulfilled that role.
Washington offensive line: Scherff, 29, is a good player. But somehow it puzzles the mind that the WFT continues to pay a security guard for the left tackle … given their left tackle issues since Trent Williams forced his way out of town.
Saints’ salary cap: You’ve steadily worked your way down from a cap deficit, which at one point was in the nine-digit range. Quite a surprising decision to mark Marcus Williams for a team that still has about $ 60 million to shave and presumably have to re-sign QB Jameis Winston.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
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