The NFL franchise tag deadline has come and gone as teams have run out of time regarding retaining players and preventing them from hitting the open market. Each team could designate one player with the franchise or transition tag, guaranteeing them a premium salary for their position -- and more time to work out a potential long-term deal with the player. That player has until July 17 to work out a long-term extension with the team -- or they can sign the tag and play the 2023 season under that salary.
Plenty of big names got tagged. Here's a rundown of everyone who got locked up prior to the March 7 deadline.
2023 franchise tag rundown
Ravens tag Lamar Jackson
Baltimore has placed the non-exclusive tag on Jackson -- allowing him to negotiate with other teams, potentially putting a Ravens exit in play. With the non-exclusive tag, teams can negotiate a contract with Jackson and the Ravens have the power to match the offer. If Baltimore declines, Jackson signs with the team he agreed to the offer sheet and the Ravens receive two first-round picks from that team in compensation.
The Ravens are 45-16 in Jackson's 61 starts since he entered the league in 2018. They average 28.0 points per game when Jackson is on the field compared to 20.0 when Jackson misses games. Jackson is one of six players in NFL history to reach 100-plus passing touchdowns and 4,000-plus rushing yards in a career, and the fastest to reach the mark by 31 games. The Ravens are averaging 184.8 rushing yards per game with Jackson as a starter in his career -- the most by any starting quarterback since the 1970 merger.
Giants tag Saquon Barkley
The Giants were able to reach a long-term deal with Daniel Jones, allowing them to place the franchise tag on Barkley for the 2023 season. Not only will the Giants have until July 17 to reach a long-term deal with Barkley, but only will owe him $10.091 million this season if a deal can't be reached (assuming Barkley signs the tag). Barkley set a career high in rushing yards (1,312) in a Pro Bowl season.
Tagging Barkley, 26, is a slight pay raise for the Giants, a one-year commitment they can afford with all the salary cap space they have available. The wide receiver market in free agency isn't great and Barkley is still a dynamic player when healthy.
Cowboys tag Tony Pollard
The Cowboys placed their franchise tag on the running back, according to ESPN, after the team's executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed he was an option for the tag, along with tight end Dalton Schultz. In the end, it was Pollard who the team chose to put the tag on. This season, the running back tag is $10.09 million.
The 25-year-old recorded a career-high 1,378 scrimmage yards with nine touchdowns on the ground and 12 in total touchdowns. His first 1,000 rushing yards season also ended with his first Pro Bowl selection.
Raiders tag Josh Jacobs
The Raiders officially tagged Jacobs on Monday, paying the back $10.091 million for the 2023 season. Jacobs had a career year in the final year of his rookie contract with the Raiders, as he was the first player in franchise history to win rushing the title since Marcus Allen in 1985.
Jacobs led the league with 1,653 rushing yards, and his 2,053 total yards from scrimmage also led the league. He has three 1,000-yard campaigns in his four seasons. in the NFL and was a First Team All-Pro selection.
Commanders tag Daron Payne
In an expected move, the Commanders made sure Payne didn't hit the free agent market by placing the franchise tag on him -- the first player to receive the franchise tag this offseason. Payne is the first Washington player to receive the tag since Brandon Scherff in 2021 and the seventh in team history to be tagged.
Payne didn't make the Pro Bowl despite notching a career-high 11.5 sacks this year, along with 49 pressures and 20 quarterback hits (9.6% pressure rate). He's expected to make $18.937 million in 2023.
Jaguars tag Evan Engram
The Jaguars have officially tagged Evan Engram before Tuesday's deadline and will now look to hammer out a long-term extension over the course of the summer. The tight end will make $11.345 million in 2023 under the tag. Meanwhile, this is the 10th time in franchise history that the team has deployed the tag -- and for the fourth consecutive season.
Engram had a career year in Jacksonville, arguably the greatest season for a tight end in Jaguars franchise history. He finished with a career-high 73 catches for 766 yards, both franchise records for Jaguars tight ends in a season.
Chiefs won't tag Orlando Brown Jr.
Orlando Brown Jr. is set to hit unrestricted free agency. The Kansas City Chiefs did not utilize the franchise tag on the star left tackle before Tuesday's deadline. Brown wants to get a long-term deal done with the Chiefs, and he'll have a week to reach one as Kansas City will not franchise tag its Pro Bowl left tackle this year. Brown allowed just one pressure on 31 pass-blocking snaps in Super Bowl LVII and is the only tackle to make the Pro Bowl in each of the past four seasons. The Chiefs left tackle allowed four sacks and 39 pressures in the regular season while allowing just 10 pressures in three postseason games.
Tag or no tag, Brown made it clear he wants to be with the Chiefs. He still wants to be with the franchise long term.
"Definitely," Brown said to CBS Sports at the Super Bowl. "It's means a lot to be a Chief, to have the opportunity to suit up for this franchise and suit up for these guys up front [offensive line]. Playing for [offensive line] coach Andy Heck, Coach [Andy] Reid, Pat [Patrick Mahomes]. I couldn't ask for a better opportunity."
How do the tags work?
- Franchise tags are essentially one-year contract offers that come in two forms: exclusive and non-exclusive.
- Exclusive tags restrict negotiating rights to the tagging team and pay out an average of the top five salaries at the player's position in the current year, or 120% of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater.
- Non-exclusive tags, which are more common, pay out an average of the top five tag amounts at the player's position from the previous five years (applied to the current cap), or 120% of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. Players who receive this tag can negotiate with other teams, but the tagging team has the right to match any offer -- and would also receive two first-round draft picks in the event the player signs elsewhere.
- Transition tags are also one-year contract offers. They pay out an average of the top 10 salaries at the player's position. Players who receive this tag can negotiate with other teams, but the tagging team has the right to match any offer. If the tagging team declines to match, it would not receive any compensation in return.