At 4 p.m. est on Monday, July 17, the deadline for franchise tag for long-term deals passed for the year 2017.
The three remaining tagged players that did not sign long-term deals – Le’Veon Bell, Kirk Cousins, and Trumaine Johnson – will all play under the tag this upcoming season.
All three players and their teams were unable to reach a deal before the deadline passed.
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Le’Veon Bell, star running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, will remain tagged. He will earn $12.1 million on the one-year franchise tag.
Bell, out of the three, was most likely to get a deal done. While injuries may have played a role in the Steelers hesitation, most running backs struggle to get long-term deals.
Regardless, Bell could still elect to not be present at training camp, as NBC Sports reports, the fact he did not sign the tender means he will NOT be subject to fines.
To compare, after Bell, LeSean McCoy will make the second most this year at the position at about four million dollars less: $8,010,000.
This one was predicted, Cousins now becomes the first quarterback in history to play two straight seasons under the tag.
Cousins is set to make $23.9 million this year, compared to last season’s $19.9 million.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted,
Also important to note, the Redskins were reluctant to offer him more than one more year guaranteed.
Cousins has and now more than ever holds all the leverage. Even for those who are not believers in him, must admit quarterbacks like this do not usually hit the open market.
The 2018 free agent period should be very kind to Mr. Cousins. Teams like the 49ers and Browns have already expressed trade interest in him. Depending on the draft class and where they will select, both are potential suitors.
Teams like the 49ers and Browns have already expressed trade interest in him. Depending on the draft class and where they select, both are potential suitors.
Certainly the lesser name out of the three, but the Rams’ corner is now set to make $16.7 million under the tag.
This will be the second year in a row Johnson will play under the tag.
It is unclear if the Rams have plans for him in the future after they tried to trade him this offseason.
Whether he fits with defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, is another question yet to be answered.
Bold predictions: Johnson is not a Ram in 2018.
— Bobby Burack is the national editor of cover32; Managing Editor for cover32 Packers; The host of the cover32 Podcast; host of ‘The cover32 Podcast’. Connect and follow on Twitter @bburack16.