It’s officially tag season in the NFL, and these 10 players could be staring at a more restricted free-agent experience.
If there is one element that NFL players hate in their contract negotiations, it is the franchise tag. This designation offers a one-year payday at the top of the market for their respective position, but it also essentially ties that player to his old team without the chance to test the market.
The tag party could hit a fever pitch this season since a provision in the current CBA allows NFL teams to use both the franchise and transition tags since the agreement is in its final year. The transition tag pays the average of the top 10 salaries at each position, but the player is still able to test free agency, with the original club getting a chance to match offers they receive.
That rule certainly makes things more interesting this offseason, when the number of tagged players could increase. Let’s take a look at the top ten tag candidates, beginning with Broncos’ safety Justin Simmons.
10. Justin Simmons
Finding a good safety is hard in the NFL and Denver has a good one in Justin Simmons. The 26-year-old Simmons has become an anchor in the Broncos’ secondary, racking up 96 tackles and four interceptions in 2019.
That kind of year could make Simmons an attractive target in a relatively weak free-agent class, so Denver would be smart to tag him if a long-term deal can’t be struck. The Broncos are apparently ready to do just that, so it seems likely Simmons will be back in Denver next season.