March 05, 2019
The NFL's franchise tag deadline expires at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and only one team in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys, is expected to use the tag to retain one of their players who would otherwise be free to test the open market. Let's look around at each of the teams in the division (in order of finish), and what they opted to do at the deadline.
Dallas franchise tagged DE DeMarcus Lawrence, and he's not happy at all about it, according to Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram. Lawrence, one of the league's premiere pass rushers, finished the 2017 season with 14.5 sacks, which was tied for second in the NFL. The Cowboys then used their franchise tag on him, which he played under in 2018 at $17,143,000.
After a modest dip in production, but still a very good season at 10.5 sacks, Lawrence was hoping for a long-term deal, but he and the Cowboys appear to be far apart on his worth, so the Cowboys once again slapped the tag on him, at what will amount to a minimum of $20.5 million.
Complicating matters further is that Lawrence needs shoulder surgery, which he is evidently putting off because he's unhappy with getting franchise tagged? Is that how I'm to read this excerpt from Hill's reporting:
Do not expect Lawrence to sign to the tag, to have shoulder surgery, or attend any of the OTAs or other off-season workouts until a long deal is agreed to.Yikes. Defensive end is already a need even with Lawrence on the roster. Take Lawrence away, and add in that Randy Gregory was suspended indefinitely by the NFL, and the following is a list of the Cowboys' listed DEs under contract in 2019, and their career sack totals:
|DE||Accrued seasons||Career sacks|
That's it. Perhaps I didn't need to make a chart.
The deadline for Lawrence and the Cowboys to work out a long-term deal is July 15. If they cannot, Lawrence will play on the tag in 2019. Or, you know, he could just sit out the season like LeVeon Bell did. Stay tuned. The Cowboys cannot afford to screw up this situation.
Trying to fully understand and also explain Nick Foles' contract situation over and over again this offseason was not a fun part of the job, and I'm glad it's over. If you wish to rehash all of that, you may do so here, but leave me out of it.
Anyway, the conclusion that we reached here very early in the process was that the most likely scenario was that the Eagles would exercise Foles' 2019 option at around $20 million, at which point Foles would pay back $2 million to buy his free agency, and the Eagles would opt not to use the franchise tag on him.
That was always going to the be the likeliest outcome, despite odd reports to the contrary. As it stands, Foles will walk in free agency as a Philadelphia legend, and his career will likely continue in Jacksonville with the Jaguars.
The Eagles did not have any other free agents worthy of the franchise tag.
WASTEAM doesn't have any free agents worth tagging.
Dave Gettleman has opted not to tag safety Landon Collins.
The #Giants have now informed S Landon Collins that he won’t be franchise tagged, putting a top player on the free agent market, sources say.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 5, 2019
The tag amount for safeties will be around $11 million, which isn't much when compared with other positions. Collins is the Giants' best player on defense, and the Giants seem poised to just let him walk instead of paying him $11 million, when they still have Eli Manning, who has stunk for about a half-decade now, on their cap this year at $23.2 million.
But even beyond the absurd notion that the Giants would rather pay a long-since-cooked player $23 million instead of their best defender $11 million, Gettleman is also clueless when it comes to the salary cap. The following excerpt from Ralph Vacciano of SNY is so batshit crazy, it's hard to wrap my mind around it.
But Gettleman also made it sound like the Giants don't really have enough money to afford the $11.2 million tag for Collins in the first place. The Giants have an estimated $27 million in space under the salary cap - a number Gettleman didn't dispute, though he said the number they have to actually spend is much less.
"You've got to go into the season with $8-10 million in space," Gettleman said. "If you don't go into the season with $8-10 million in space, if someone gets hurt, you're playing a rookie. And I've been in that shoes as a pro guy, where they come in and 'So and so is hurt, however Dave we've got no money so it's got to be a practice squad guy.'
"So you've got to say to yourself: '$10 million goes here.' So now that conversation (about the franchise tag) is different, isn't it? 'Man, they've only got $17 million left.'"
Lol, what?!? If a player gets hurt during the season, it's not like there will be good players just waiting to sign these multi-million dollar deals. What street free agent is going to be demanding anything remotely close to $10 million, much less anything more than the NFL minimum?
I said it in our Giants dumpster fire piece last summer, and I'll say it again -- I'm sorry, Giants fans, but your general manager has no idea what he's doing, and your franchise is going to be a disaster until your ownership realizes the mistake they made in hiring him.
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