NFL Franchise Tag Update: Ravens Quarterback Lamar Jackson Among Prominent Players Tagged

Daniel Jones, Derek Carr, Geno Smith - Being Showed The Money

Salary-Cap Related Cuts Coming Fast and Furious

Welcome to the time of the year when the salary capologist might be the most important staff member on NFL teams as franchises use the NFL Franchise Tags to hold onto game-changing players.

With franchise tags being bestowed on players yet to agree to contracts, money being shifted to signing bonuses so teams can try to get out of salary cap jail and prominent players being released for the same reason, there is rarely a dull moment when it comes to the NFL transaction wire these days.

Fresh off winning the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs (+600) have the best championship odds at the current time. The Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers are all priced at +800 followed by the Cincinnati Bengals at +900.

Here is a breakdown of some of the recent moves.

Quarterbacks Getting Paid

Quarterbacks are usually popular when it comes time to hand out the NFL franchise tags.

This year there have been some moves with the quarterbacks that didn’t include franchise tags.

The New York Giants signed Daniel Jones to a four-year deal worth $160 million with incentives likely to bump up that payday for a quarterback who seemed to have an uncertain future with the Giants heading into the 2022 season.

Speaking of quarterbacks putting things together at the perfect time, Geno Smith got $75 million over three years from the Seattle Seahawks after a breakthrough season.

Smith finished fifth in the NFL passing efficiency as he got the chance to be the unquestioned starter in Seattle after Russell Wilson was traded to Denver.

The Las Vegas Raiders released quarterback Derek Carr and he signed with the New Orleans Saints for four years and $150 million.

Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens has to be loving those contracts. He was signed to a non-exclusive franchise tag. What that means is that other teams can place an offer sheet that Baltimore would have to match to keep the former MVP. Otherwise, he would play the 2023 season on the franchise tag.

When it comes to NFL player odds, Carr (+1400) is tied for eighth with Jimmy Garoppolo, another quarterback expected to be on the move, in the odds to be the NFL Comeback Player of the Year during the 2023 season.

There are reports of teams backing off the possible pursuit of Jackson after he received the NFL transition tag.

Jones cut down on his turnovers to help the Giants reach the playoffs while Carr will go from throwing to Davante Adams to connecting with Chris Olave.

Tag, You’re It

Other players signing non-exclusive NFL franchise tags include New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram, Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne and Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard.

Running backs tend to be viewed as replaceable with Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys likely facing the potential of a substantial pay cut if he chooses to stay with the Cowboys. That makes the fact that Barkley, Jacobs and Pollard getting franchise tags all the more notable.

Jacobs led the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards during the regular season. Barkley finished fourth with 1,312 yards while Pollard topped the 1,000-yard mark for the first time.

Rodgers to The Jets?

There are multiple reports of longtime Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers meeting with the New York Jets.

The marriage of Rodgers with the New York media would be strange bedfellows for sure. However, he would be a significant upgrade at the quarterback. Perhaps he can do with the Jets what Tom Brady did when he left the New England Patriots to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While it was the defense that did much of the heavy lifting, Brady did pick up another Super Bowl ring as he quarterbacked Tampa Bay to the NFL title.

The Jets (+2000) are currently seventh in the odds to win the Super Bowl. That would change if Rodgers becomes the quarterback for the Jets.

Tom Brady has filed retirement papers. However, his name is still in the headlines as a potential option for QB-hungry teams.

Getting Out of Salary Cap Jail

Some prominent names included among recent cuts as teams try to get under the salary cap.

Defensive end Frank Clark of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay left tackle Donovan Smith, linebackers Bud Dupree and Zach Cunningham both of the Tennessee Titans and Eric Kendricks of the Minnesota Vikings. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota, Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz, and Tennessee offensive tackle Taylor Lewan are among the salary-cap related cuts.

According to the database, the Buccaneers, Saints, Chargers, Cowboys, Jaguars and Bills are the teams with the most work yet to be done to get under the salary cap. The teams in the best situations are the Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots.

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