NFL teams can now place the franchise tag on pending free agents if they wish to do so. Teams have from now until March 9th to place the tags. Multiple big name free agents will be tagged and retained. However, the Cleveland Browns have no need to use the franchise tag.
The Browns have multiple players that are free agents that they would like to keep. Wide receiver Rashard Higgins and linebacker B.J. Goodson are two that come to mind. Neither are worthy of the franchise tag, however. The numbers for each would be approximately 16.4 million dollars to tag Higgins and 15.6 million dollars to tag Goodson, neither will draw close to that on a one year deal.
It’s a good position to be in for the Browns, it goes to show they have no big time free agents that could potentially leave the team. Higgins and Goodson are both vital in their given roles, but are replaceable if it comes down to it.
A boat load of players will be tagged around the league as teams don’t want to hand out large, long term contracts with the salary cap unknown in the future. Notable players who will likely be tagged are Dak Prescott, Allen Robinson, Justin Simmons, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin, and Brandon Scherff.
The franchise tag in a way waters down free agency, though there are still some very good players who are going to hit the open market. New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams will hit the market as long as he is not franchised, that will be an interesting development to watch.
Cleveland will be setting out the franchise tag period, at least for this offseason. Next year could be a different scenario. Things should stay quiet for the Browns until free agency ramps up a bit in the coming weeks.