The deadline for franchise tag players receiving long term deals was rather uneventful this year.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Titans running back Derrick Henry, Buccaneers pass rusher Shaq Barrett and Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue entered the day with unresolved situations. Only Henry found the comfort of a long term deal. Henry signed a four-year deal with Tennessee worth $50 million and $25.5 million guaranteed.
Henry’s deal gives him the fifth highest average salary amongst running backs behind Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson. If recent running back contracts are a trend, Henry might not play out this entire deal with the Titans, but it’s a victory for Henry to reach a second contract.
Prescott will play this year on the franchise tag and make $31.4 million. Prescott will have a chance to cash in, yet again, on a long term deal if he plays well this year. For what it’s worth, the 2021 franchise tag would likely be worth more than $37 million.
Prescott’s $31.4 million cap hit is the highest in the NFL for the upcoming season, according to Spotrac. The Cowboys and Prescott seemed to get stuck on the length of the deal and now Prescott is locked in for one year. At the very least, the franchise tag is a massive raise for Prescott. Last season, Prescott made a little more than two million dollars in the last year of his rookie deal.
Barrett signed his tag with Tampa Bay, but is still disputing how much his tag should be worth. Barrett technically plays outside linebacker for the Buccaneers in their 3-4 defense, but he functions as a defensive end. Barrett led the league with 18.5 sacks last season for Tampa Bay.
Barrett, and Steelers pass rusher Bud Dupree, wants to be designated as a defensive end instead of a linebacker. The franchise tag for linebackers is $15.8 million while that figure rises to $17.8 million for defensive ends. Barrett will be playing for the Buccaneers this season, but the price tag has yet to be finalized.
Ngakoue’s situation isn’t as clear as Henry’s or Prescott’s or even Barrett’s. Ngakoue hasn’t signed his franchise tag and doesn’t intend on ever playing for the Jaguars again.
Multiple teams have offered to trade for Ngakoue, but Jacksonville hasn’t found a trade offer they like just yet, according to NFL Network. Ngakoue can only play on a one-year deal this season.
Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, Vikings safety Anthony Harris, Ravens linebacker Matt Judon, Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams, Washington guard Brandon Scherff, New England guard Joe Thuney, Broncos safety Justin Simmons and Chargers tight end Hunter Henry will play this year on the franchise tag as well.