Bills’ Josh Allen Not a Fan of Franchise Tag: ‘I Don’t Think It’s Great for the Team, Nor the Player’

In Thursday’s Hot Clicks: Josh Allen’s thoughts on the franchise tag, an outfielder’s assist on a home run and more.
Publish date:


Congratulations, Josh Allen, you’re the next quarterback in line to get a big-time contract extension. After a breakout season in 2020, the Bills are starting to talk about locking up Allen with a long-term deal. General manager Brandon Beane expects to start those conversations after next month’s draft.

Allen has two years left on his rookie contract (including his fifth-year option, which the Bills will surely exercise before the May 3 deadline). And Buffalo sounds sold on Allen as its franchise guy, but if the two sides can’t reach an agreement on an extension before he’s set to hit the free-agent market, Allen will get slapped with the franchise tag.

Appearing on the podcast 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt, Allen was asked for his thoughts on the tag and had a pithy response: “Eww.”

“I don’t think it's great for the team, nor the player,” Allen continued. “Again, I need to do more research on it, but if you look at the guys that’ve been tags in the past couple years, as far as the quarterback position goes, it was Dak [Prescott], and Kirk Cousins. And at the end of the day, you could make the case that they should’ve just done the deal the year prior, or a couple years prior. So it is what it is. At the end of the day, whatever happens, happens. It’s not gonna deter me from trying to be the best quarterback for the Bills.”

As Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio points out, the franchise tag can be good and bad for both the player and the team. The tag artificially suppresses a player’s earnings by forcing them into a one-year contract, but because the value of the tag increases each time it is applied, getting tagged twice gives the player leverage to work out a long-term deal.

The examples Allen gave—Prescott and Cousins—are actually two guys who fared pretty well under the tag. Prescott got $31.4 million for playing under the tag in 2020, which is equal to the average annual guaranteed salary of his new extension, and saw his value increase. Cousins got a raise from $660,000 in the final year of his rookie deal to $19.9 million in his first year under the tag. He got $23.9 million when Washington tagged him again and used those two seasons under the tag as an audition to get a fully guaranteed three-year contract worth $28 million per year with the Vikings (followed by a two-year deal worth $33 million annually, again fully guaranteed).

Teams will always prefer to lock up their star quarterbacks without having to deal with the hassle of the franchise tag. So, if Allen doesn’t like the idea of being tagged, maybe it’ll be easier to come to an agreement. 

The best of SI

Lee Elder reflects on his legacy ahead of the Masters. ... College hoops coaches ditched their suits during the pandemic and don’t be surprised if they never come back. ... Dustin Johnson is seeking to do what very few golfers have: win back-to-back Masters. ... Former college lacrosse player Noelle Lambert is headed to Tokyo as a Paralympian

Around the sports world

The referee who asked Erling Haaland for his autograph reportedly did so in order to auction it off for an autism charity. ... The New York Rangers canceled practice so that players could all go get vaccinated. ... Megan Rapinoe hit back at Draymond Green after his comments about pay equality. ... More companies are ending their sponsorship deals with Deshaun Watson as allegations against him mount

Not quite a Canseco

Uh oh, Trevor

Chris Paul is ready for the new Space Jam

Very cute, but don’t film a video while you’re driving!

Just like you practice in spring

Not sports

New particle research may have totally upended modern physics. ... A new study suggests grizzly bears are prone to laziness, like humans. ... A Missouri man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for trying to buy an extremely deadly poison on the dark web and use it in assassinations.

A 104-year-old woman in Colombia recovered from COVID-19 twice

A six-foot monitor lizard climbed all over the shelves in a Thai 7-Eleven

A good song

Email with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.