2023 NFL franchise tag tracker: No long-term deals for Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs or Tony Pollard

The NFL franchise tag deadline came and went earlier this offseason, and the league saw a total of six players hit with the tag. Since then, we’ve seen a few of those players — including quarterback Lamar Jackson — sign long-term extensions with their teams to remain in town, not just for the 2023 season, but beyond.

Then there are other situations — especially in various backfields across the league — where players are simply playing on the one-year deal now that the deadline for long-term deals has come and gone.

Here’s a rundown of everyone who had the franchise tag placed on them and the situation that unfolded since then.

2023 overview of franchise brands

Ravens tag Lamar Jackson (contract extension approved)

Baltimore placed the non-exclusive roof on Jackson — allowing him to negotiate with other teams, putting a Ravens exit in play, especially after the former league MVP requested a trade. But cooler heads prevailed, and the Ravens agreed to a five-year, $260 million contract with Jackson, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

The Ravens are 45-16 in Jackson’s 61 starts since entering the league in 2018. They are averaging 28.0 points per game. 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 more than 100 passing touchdowns and over 4,000 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. game with Jackson starting in his career – the most of any starting quarterback since the 1970 merger.

The Giants were able to reach a long-term deal with Daniel Jones, which made it possible for them place the franchise brand on Barkley for the 2023 season. Barkley and the Giants did not come to terms on a long-term deal before the deadline. Just before 4 p.m. ET, Barkley tweeted“It is what it is.”

Barkley would make $10.091 million fully guaranteed this season under the tag, but the star running back has yet to sign his offer. There have been reports that note that his availability for Week 1 could be in “serious question” without a long-term deal, and that’s now the situation we’re in.

Barkley set a career high in rushing yards (1,312) in a Pro Bowl season in 2022 and was one of the focal points of the Giants’ offense. New York added a few more weapons this offseason in the form of Darren Waller, Parris Campbell and Jalin Hyatt, but Barkley remains likely the most explosive playmaker on the team.

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The Cowboys placed their franchise tag on the running back, which will pay him $10.09 million for the 2023 season. As expected, the two sides failed to agree on an extension before the July 17 deadline.

Of the three running backs tagged, Pollard is the only one to sign his tender and, having already participated in minicamp and OTAs, is expected to be in training camp as well.

Pollard may look to have a full season as the lead back in Dallas before trying to lock down an extension, while the Cowboys may want some breathing room after just coming off Ezekiel Elliott’s monster contract earlier this offseason, so this path provides meaning for both sides.

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The 25-year-old posted a career-high 1,378 scrimmage yards with nine touchdowns on the ground and 12 total touchdowns. His first 1,000 rushing yard season also ended with his first Pro Bowl selection.

The Raiders re-tagged Jacobs in March and paid back $10.091 million for the 2023 season.

But that situation has soured since, and Jacobs has not signed his bid in the same way as Barkley. Jacobs did not participate in the offseason program and it was reported that he would not show up to training camp unless he agreed to an extension. According to NFL Media, no agreement was reached between the parties before the deadline. It may be a while before he reports to camp, according to The Athletic.

Jacobs had a career year in the final year of his rookie contract with the Raiders, becoming the first player in franchise history to win the title since Marcus Allen in 1985.

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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.

Payne was the first player to receive the franchise tag this offseason, but this maneuver from Washington was just a placeholder. The two sides have since agreed to a four-year, $90 million contract with a $28 million signing bonus and up to $60 million in total guarantees. Payne was expected to make about $18.9 million fully guaranteed on the tag.

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Payne did not make the Pro Bowl despite posting a career-high 11.5 sacks this year along with 49 pressures and 20 quarterback sacks (9.6% pressure rate).

Jaguars tag Evan Engram (contract extension accepted)

The Jaguars tagged Evan Engram before the deadline, but it came close to deadlocked with reports that the two sides were working on a long-term extension. They have since ended that extension when Engram agreed to a three-year, $41.25 million contract with Jacksonville that includes $24 million fully guaranteed. The tight end would have made $11.345 million in 2023 under the cap.

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Engram had a career year in Jacksonville, arguably the best season for a tight end in Jaguars franchise history. He finished with a career-high 73 catches for 766 yards, both franchise single-season records for Jaguars tight ends.

How do tags work?

  • Franchise tags are essentially one-year contract offers that come in two forms: exclusive and non-exclusive.
  • Exclusive tags limit bargaining rights to the tagging team and pay 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 an average of the top five cap 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 will also receive two first-round draft picks in the event the player signs elsewhere.
  • Transition marks are also one-year contract offers. They pay 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 will receive no compensation in return.

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