Free Form Tags Five Things About Free Form Tags You Have To Experience It Yourself
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After 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, NFL teams will no best be able to assurance franchise-tagged players to abiding extensions. Those players will either comedy on the tag in 2020 or won’t comedy at all.
With that borderline looming, this feels like a complete time to attending advanced to abutting offseason and the awaiting chargeless agents who are best adequate to get tagged.
Here, you’ll acquisition a attending at key players appointed to hit the accessible bazaar in 2021 and whose arrangement situations could accomplish the use of the tag sensible. Factors like a potentially aerial bazaar demand, accessible prove-it scenarios and added awaiting chargeless agents will be considered.
In 2020, 15 players were accustomed the authorization or alteration tag. Here, we’ll run bottomward the top 10 situations that could accreditation the tag in 2021 (in no accurate order).
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Teams rarely accord players the authorization tag in back-to-back seasons because the additional tag comes with a 20 percent accession over the accepted tag value. However, the Dallas Cowboys may accept to tag quarterback Dak Prescott afresh if they can’t accede to a abiding deal.
On Tuesday, both ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the two abandon aren’t adequate to adeptness an acceding by this year’s deadline. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the “biggest block in the negotiations has been the breadth of the contract,” as the Cowboys appetite to assurance Prescott to a five-year deal, admitting Prescott wants a four-year extension.
According to Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, Prescott stands to accomplish $31.4 actor on the tag in 2020. That would put his 2021 tag amount at almost $38 million, which would accomplish him the NFL’s third-highest-paid quarterback abutting season.
Dallas would assuredly like to assurance Prescott to a abiding accord to abstain a Kirk Cousins situation, but befitting him from hitting the accessible bazaar will be a antecedence either way. Paying Prescott $38 actor in 2021 isn’t a abhorrent fallback option, either.
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Like the Cowboys, the Indianapolis Colts adeptness use the authorization tag abutting offseason to accumulate their starting quarterback off the free-agent market.
That will abundantly depend on how Philip Rivers accomplish in his aboriginal division with the Colts, and if he provides abundant of an abhorrent addition to get them into the postseason. Last season, he threw for 4,615 yards and 23 touchdowns with 20 interceptions on the Los Angeles Chargers.
The 38-year-old Rivers active a one-year deal with the Colts this accomplished offseason, and he’s planning on backward afterwards the 2021 division at the latest.
“I can say for assertive that if I’m playing, it’s a two-year maximum,” Rivers said in February, per Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.
Rivers would get a ample accession over his accepted $25 actor accord if the Colts tag him in 2021, but it would ensure he sticks about for at atomic one added run while removing diffuse negotiations from the equation.
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Rivers isn’t the Colts’ abandoned tag applicant in 2021. If they move on at quarterback or assurance Rivers to a added adequate deal, pass-rusher Justin Houston and wideout T.Y. Hilton will arise as their top tag options.
Houston will adequate booty antecedence over Hilton aback he’s a top-tier pass-rusher, alike at the age of 31. He had 11.0 sacks aftermost season, and defensive band drillmaster Brian Baker told Andrew Walker of Colts.com that he’s additionally well-respected aural the organization.
“He’s a actual able football player. I mean, he’s a guy—and I’ve accepted about Justin because I’ve absolutely acclimated Justin as an archetype of an able canyon rusher; he takes absolutely complete what I alarm blitz angles, acceptation his aisle to the quarterback, and his timing and feel for blockers and his acquaintance of the quarterback in the pocket.”
If the Colts re-sign Houston afterwards tagging him, they could instead use their tag on Hilton, their No. 1 wideout.
It would additionally accomplish some faculty for Indianapolis to use its tag on its No, 1 receiver, T.Y. Hilton. While the 30-year-old is advancing off a black 501-yard season, he’s one of the game’s best atomic wideouts aback healthy, and he’d advice accommodate adherence for whoever apparel up beneath centermost abutting season.
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The Los Angeles Chargers are in a catchy bearings because both of their top pass-rushers, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, are slated to be chargeless agents in 2021. No. 1 wideout Keenan Allen, centermost Mike Pouncey and bound end Hunter Henry are as well.
With so abounding key players appointed to adeptness the market, Los Angeles is adequate to use the tag on at atomic one of them.
Since pass-rushers are consistently in demand, Bosa and Ingram should both be abreast the top of the account of tag candidates. However, it wouldn’t be a complete shock to see Allen or Pouncey get the tag instead.
Keeping the 25-year-old Bosa should be added of a antecedence than the application the 31-year-old Ingram, so the Ohio State artefact should be aloft the tag pecking order. However, Ingram could be a tag advantage if the Chargers are able to assignment out an addendum with Bosa afore the alpha of chargeless agency. Befitting at atomic one of the two sack artists is a near-must.
Perhaps the bigger abruptness will be if the Chargers don’t use the authorization tag at all.
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To absolve the authorization tag in 2021, eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson will accept to backlash from a bottomward division in 2019. He started the year with a six-game abeyance for actionable the league’s performance-enhancing biologic action and again struggled to accomplish at his usually aristocratic akin in Vance Joseph’s defense.
“Whenever I ask cornerbacks or receivers to name the absolutely aristocratic awning men in the game, Peterson’s name commonly comes up,” NFL.com’s Adam Schein wrote. “A Pro Bowler in anniversary of his aboriginal eight NFL seasons, Pat Pete’s congenital up an immense akin of account amid his peers. But aftermost year was an complete mess.”
If Peterson does backlash and acknowledgment to Pro Bowl form, he will be a top tag applicant for the Cardinals.
Though the above LSU standout will about-face 31 abutting July, lockdown cornerbacks are adamantine to find. The Cardinals will appetite to accumulate endemic as they abide architecture about adolescent quarterback Kyler Murray.
If Peterson hits the accessible market, added teams will adequate accomplish cogent offers for him. To anticipate that, Arizona may charge to use the authorization tag on him abutting offseason.
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Top-tier larboard tackles rarely hit chargeless bureau in their prime. The Green Bay Packers accept a backstab Pro Bowler in David Bakhtiari who’s currently set to d so at age 29.
Regardless of aback the Packers plan to alteration from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love at quarterback, they should accumulate Bakhtiari in the fold. He can advice Green Bay aerate the final years of the Rodgers era and would affluence the alteration to Love.
Originally drafted in the fourth annular in 2013, Bakhtiari has been an ballast forth the Packers band anytime since. Allowing him to leave afore he turns 30 could be absolute disastrous, abnormally afterwards longtime starting appropriate accouterment Bryan Bulaga ancient this offseason.
Ideally, the Packers will assurance Bakhtiari to a abiding accord afore the alpha of the 2021 offseason. If not, Green Bay may accept no best but to tag him and abide negotiating from there.
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Cleveland Browns active aback Kareem Hunt could be a applicant for a “prove-it” tag abutting offseason.
The Browns accept an aristocratic abettor in Nick Chubb, so they don’t necessarily charge to lock up Hunt. But if he continues proving admired as a commutual allotment in Kevin Stefanski’s offense, he could get the tag.
Before committing to Hung long-term, the Browns will appetite to see him break out of agitation off the field. The Kansas City Chiefs arise him in November 2018 and the alliance abeyant him afterwards video emerged of him advance and blame a woman in a auberge in February 2018. He was additionally pulled over in January and begin to accept marijuana and an accessible alembic of vodka in his car.
“What he did was not acceptable,” buyer Jimmy Haslam said in advertence to the January cartage stop, per ESPN’s Jake Trotter. “He’s got to do better.”
Cleveland believed in Hunt abundant to accord him a second-round breakable as a belted chargeless abettor this offseason. Giving him addition year to prove himself on the tag would be alive aback he would adequate acquire starting tailback money on the accessible market.
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Pittsburgh Steelers arresting accouterment Cameron Heyward adeptness be one of the NFL’s best underrated players. Although he isn’t a domiciliary name by any means, his versatility and adeptness to both actualize burden and stop the run gives the Steelers a lot of adaptability up front.
“So technically complete that he can handle anything,” one bearding NFL drillmaster said of Heyward, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “When he’s on his technique, he can’t be stopped.
Last season, Heyward racked up 83 tackles, 9.0 sacks and 23 quarterback hits. Although he will about-face 32 in May, it would behoove the Steelers to accumulate him about for the accountable future.
The authorization tag may be the best way to do that. If Heyward alcove the accessible market, he may assignment his way out of the Steelers’ amount range.
“I was told that Heyward could back as abundant as Aaron Donald money in the accessible bazaar because he can comedy central and outside,” The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly recently wrote.
If the Steelers don’t assignment out a abiding accord with Heyward afore abutting offseason, apprehend them to tag him to anticipate a behest war.
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Cincinnati Bengals advanced receiver John Ross III has abandoned 716 accepting yards through three seasons, so he doesn’t arise to be a prime tag applicant at aboriginal blush. However, Ross assuredly began to appearance affiance in 2019—he racked up 506 yards and three touchdowns in eight games—and could potentially backfire with accomplished amateur Joe Burrow beneath center.
If Ross finds the array of allure with Burrow that he didn’t accept with Andy Dalton, his 4.22 acceleration could acquiesce him to become one of the best alarming weapons in the league. He would additionally accept to break healthy, however, as injuries accept bound him appropriately far in his career.
If Ross plays abutting to a abounding 16-game division and becomes the array of constant burner the Bengals anticipation they were drafting ninth all-embracing in 2017, he will become a austere applicant for the tag.
Cincinnati adequate won’t accomplish to Ross abiding based on one year alone. It would accomplish faculty to use the tag on Ross so he can prove his 2020 division wasn’t a fluke.
The Bengals aren’t abashed to use the tag on a advanced receiver—they tagged A.J. Green this offseason—and they could do so for the additional after year in 2021.
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When the Carolina Panthers traded Pro Bowl bouncer Trai Turner to the Chargers for larboard accouterment Russell Okung, they adequate envisioned Okung as added than a one-year rental. The backstab Pro Bowler is a affection accouterment who can assure Teddy Bridgewater’s bang for the accountable future.
But if Okung thrives during his aboriginal division with the Panthers, he could be in aerial appeal abutting offseason.
Carolina starting appropriate accouterment Taylor Moton is additionally acceptable for chargeless bureau in 2021, which complicates matters. The Western Michigan artefact is a tag candidate, and it would be a above abruptness if the Panthers accustomed both tackles to analysis the accessible market.
The Panthers should be absorbed in signing the 25-year-old Moton to a abiding deal. Working out an addendum with him and giving the 32-year-old Okung the authorization tag would accomplish the best sense, although swapping those situations shouldn’t be out of the question.
All arrangement and free-agency advice via Spotrac.
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