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Eight players were franchise tagged prior to Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline, but the impact goes well beyond that number. While several notable players were tagged, just as many were not tagged and will get a chance to test the market when the NFL's legal tampering period begins on March 11.

The franchise tag is an interesting thing. It pays a player a lot of guaranteed money, but for only one year. The tag can often double a player's career earnings, but it can also deprive them a chance at getting a long-term contract. 

As you can imagine, there were several winners and losers in the aftermath of Tuesday's tag deadline. Here's a look at each winner and loser, along with a quick look at each player who was tagged. 

NFL's franchise-tagged players 

PlayerTeam2024 salary

Justin Madubuike, DT

Baltimore Ravens


Brian Burns, LB

Carolina Panthers 


Jaylon Johnson, CB 

Chicago Bears 


Tee Higgins, WR 

Cincinnati Bengals 


Michael Pittman, WR 

Indianapolis Colts 


Josh Allen, LB 

Jacksonville Jaguars 


L'Jarius Sneed, CB 

Kansas City Chiefs 


Antoine Winfield Jr., S 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 



RB Saquon Barkley 

Saquon Barkley
PHI • RB • #26
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Rest assured, Barkley isn't shedding any tears at not being tagged. By not being tagged, Barkley has less than a week to agree to a long-term deal with the Giants before becoming an unrestricted free agent. 

Instead of going back to a 6-11 team, Barkley can try to find a better situation via free agency. While the money may not be great, Barkley will at least get a chance to shop his wares for the first time. One possible option might be the Ravens, who came up just short of playing in this past season's Super Bowl


WR Calvin Ridley 

Calvin Ridley
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Ridley is one of the few players who probably would have welcomed a franchise tag. After not playing in 2022, Ridley was a candidate for the tag after leading the Jaguars in receiving yards in 2023. 

Instead of making nearly $22 million this season under the tag, Ridley will instead enter free agency. Ridley will surely find a new team, but it'll be hard to find one that will pay him the amount (in annual salary) that he would have earned under the tag. 


WR Tee Higgins 

Tee Higgins
CIN • WR • #5
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Sure, Higgins would have much rather preferred a long-term deal. But by getting the tag, he doubled his career earnings and gets another year to play alongside Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase. Higgins will also likely increase his market value after being injured for a good portion of 2023. 

Higgins wants to say in Cincinnati, so getting tagged gives him and the Bengals more time to come to terms on a long-term deal. An ever-increasing salary cap is another reason why Higgins is a winner. 


QB Baker Mayfield 

Baker Mayfield
TB • QB • #6
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The tag would have given Mayfield a fat paycheck and a sense of security in Tampa. But instead of making a guaranteed $38.3 million for 2024, Mayfield has less than a week to agree to a contract with the Buccaneers before the start of free agency. 

It's hard to fathom Mayfield getting anywhere near $38 million next season. There is, however, a good chance that he is the Buccaneers' starting quarterback again. Not getting tagged, however, puts everything into question. Conversely, the Buccaneers kept their options open by choosing not to tag Mayfield. 


DT Chris Jones 

Had he been tagged, Jones would have played for $6 million less than his projected market value in 2024. Jones will now either sign a long-term deal with the Chiefs or he will do so elsewhere. 

If he and the Chiefs don't come to terms on a long-term deal, Jones will be one of the NFL's most coveted free agents. Jones earned that reputation after picking up his second All-Pro nod last year while playing a key role in the Chiefs' successful title defense. 


Antoine Winfield Jr

Winfield was slated to enter free agency as the top available safety. Instead, he's currently in line to make over a million less than his projected market value in 2024. The positive for Winfield is that he and the Buccaneers have until July 17 at 4 p.m. ET to come to terms on a long-term deal. 

Winfield is surely hoping to cash in after a 2023 season that saw him fill the stat sheet with 122 tackles, six sacks, three interceptions and a league-best six forced fumbles. 


S Xavier McKinney 

McKinney's situation is different from fellow safety Winfield, who was tagged by the Buccaneers. Winfield is an All-Pro who will likely get his big payday later this offseason (if he and the Buccaneers can agree on a long-term deal) or next offseason. 

For McKinney, this is his time to cash in, especially with Winfield not currently on the open market. The former second-round pick should have a pretty robust market after a solid four-year run with the Giants. 


RB Josh Jacobs 

Josh Jacobs
GB • RB • #8
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Jacobs wanted to stay with the Raiders, who drafted him back in 2019. That possibility took a hit when Las Vegas opted not to tag him. What really hurts Jacobs is the fact that he wasn't able to test the market last year as the reigning league rushing champion. Instead, Jacobs is slated to enter free agency after averaging a career-low 3.5 yards per carry in 2023. 

Jacobs is less than a week from joining a list of free-agent running backs that also includes Barkley, Derrick Henry, Tony Pollard and Austin Ekeler


CB L'Jarius Sneed 

If he plays under the tag, Sneed will make about $3.5 million more than his projected market value (as far as annual salary is concerned). While he will have to wait for a long-term deal, Sneed will get a lot of money for this season while getting a chance to strengthen his market value for 2024. 


LB Brian Burns 

Burns continues to wait for his coveted long-term deal. He was vocal about his desire to get one last offseason but was forced to play under the team's fifth-year option. If he plays under the tag, Burns will be the sixth-highest-paid player at this position, which is absurd given his production so far for Carolina. 

Burns was given the non-exclusive tag, so teams can negotiate with him once free agency starts. If he is given another offer, the Panthers can either match the offer or let Burns go while receiving two first-round picks.