NFL Franchise Tags (and Lack Thereof)

Just typed in the old domain out of habit. Lol. Anyway, in honor of the new domain that took the “nfl” part out, I’m going to start out talking about the NFL. Today was the deadline for teams to use their annual franchise tag, so here are the players who were franchise tagged, and some players who weren’t franchise tagged who maybe should have been:

Players With Franchise Tag

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  • Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers– This was an easy decision for the Steelers to make. Bell is the top RB in the NFL and many have claimed that he has created a new running style. He does everything asked of an NFL RB: runs, catches passes, blocks, etc. I also think it was smart not to give him a long-term deal YET because he has had a couple of substance-related suspensions. The tag is telling him, “Hey! You are an AMAZING RB, but you’ve got to take the right path.”
  • Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins– I was disappointed to see this as a New York Giants fan because Kirk Cousins is an above average NFL QB. The Washington Redskins eventually have to cave and just give Kirk Cousins his long-term deal. He has yet to perform in the clutch, but Kirk Cousins is a capable starting NFL QB, and that’s hard to come by in the NFL.
  • Melvin Ingram, LB, Los Angeles Chargers– Between Melvin Ingram and DE Joey Bosa, the Los Angeles Chargers have a scary young pass rushing duo. Great decision, and I think Melvin Ingram will get his long-term payday once QB Philip Rivers decides to retire (which will free up cap space for the Los Angeles Chargers).
  • Trumaine Johnson, CB, Los Angeles Rams– The Los Angeles Rams are lost. Trumaine Johnson is good and young, which is why the Los Angeles Rams felt compelled to tag him. From that Los Angeles Rams perspective, I understand the decision. After all, they don’t have too many good players to pay.
  • Chandler Jones, LB, Arizona Cardinals– This was a decent decision. Chandler Jones is a very good player, and he’s still on the right side of 30 (27 years old). Chandler Jones gives the Arizona Cardinals a quality pass rush. I look forward to seeing Chandler Jones team up with a healthy (hopefully) DE Robert Nkemdiche (who was oft-injured this season) next season. That will be another scary, young pass rush duo.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants– I was thrilled when I read about this one. JPP was the reason that the Big Blue defense worked last season. His excellent pass rush ensured that the secondary wouldn’t get out of position due to opposing QBs having too much time. It’s just too bad the G-men decided to give DE Olivier Vernon a MASSIVE deal last offseason because that will make it more difficult to give a similar deal to JPP, who deserves it more.
  • Kawann Short, DT, Carolina Panthers– Kawann Short is the second most important player on the Carolina Panthers defense behind MLB Luke Kuechly. Kawann Short is the run-stuffer in the middle of the d-line, which is very important. Of course, with the Carolina Panthers lackluster secondary, opposing teams can afford to be forced to pass.

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Key Players Without Franchise Tag

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  • Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills– OK, WHERE IS THE BUFFALO BILLS MONEY GOING?! Stephon Gilmore may not be the best CB in the NFL, but he is still a great CB. Seeing as the Buffalo Bills refuse to pay QB Tyrod Taylor, I don’t know why they wouldn’t ensure that Stephon Gilmore doesn’t go anywhere else (which they should’ve been able to afford to do).
  • Dont’a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots– I get it…the New England Patriots are paying A LOT of players to get them to the Super Bowl on a consistent basis. That said, Dont’a Hightower is the heart and soul of the New England Patriots Super Bowl-caliber defense, and his play inspired the Pats comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Also, Dont’a Hightower is one of the best pass-rushing inside LBs in the NFL. Of course, Bill Belichick could play LB himself for the New England Patriots and he’d still be the best LB ever because that’s just how the system always seems to work…:(
  • Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears– The Chicago Bears need to focus on paying a QB to be able to get the ball to receivers like Alshon Jeffery. Plus, Alshon Jeffery has missed something like 11 games in the last two seasons. With the MANY areas of need that the Chicago Bears have, they can’t afford to pay a player who misses that much time.
  • Dontari Poe, DT, Kansas City Chiefs– Dontari Poe was outperformed by rookie DT Chris Jones. Great move by the Kansas City Chiefs to choose the younger and less expensive player in Chris Jones. I’m sure Dontari Poe is also thrilled because he’s one of the best DTs available in free agency this offseason, so he should make bank.
  • Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns– The Cleveland Browns are in a similar situation to the Chicago Bears with WR Alshon Jeffery: they need to focus on paying a quality QB who can get the ball in the vicinity of talented WRs such as Terrelle Pryor. Here’s the difference: Terrelle Pryor used to play QB, and he’s probably better than the current Cleveland Browns QBs. The Cleveland Browns should have payed Terrelle Pryor WR money to move back to QB!
  • Brandon Williams, DT, Baltimore Ravens– I’m really not sure why the Baltimore Ravens opted not to tag Brandon Williams, who is a great player on the right side of 30 (28 years old). Who else are they paying? FS Eric Weddle…MLB CJ Mosley…Is there anybody else that I’m missing?

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That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the players who were franchise tagged and/or on the players who were not franchise tagged and/or on whatever else is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower of the newly-renamed thehaysway.wordpress.com. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

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