Schneider: 'I Don't See' Seahawks Using Franchise or Transition Tags
INDIANAPOLIS - During the NFL Scouting Combine each year, coaches and general managers seem to compete against one another to give away as little information as possible while still respectfully meeting with the media.
Understandably, teams don't want to signal their intentions to opponents, whether it comes to draft prospects, free agency, trades, or even potential cap casualties. For that reason, it can be difficult to glean meaningful information this time of year.
But in a rare occurrence for the industry on Tuesday, rather than talk around the subject without actually saying anything substantial, general manager John Schneider provided some valuable insight into the team's offseason plans off podium.
Due to the NFL's ongoing collective bargaining agreement talks, each NFL team has the ability to use both the franchise and transition tags this offseason. Typically, teams can only use one of those exclusive tenders each year.
However, even with several big name free agents set to hit the market such as Jadeveon Clowney and Jarran Reed, Schneider doesn't envision the Seahawks using either one.
“For some clubs it’s probably a..." Schneider paused. "We’re not in that world so, I’m sure it's… I don’t see us tagging anybody. I’m sure it’s going to be huge benefit to a couple of clubs that feel like they are going to have a chance to lose an impact player.”
Based on his track record since coming to Seattle in 2010, Schneider's comments shouldn't come as a surprise. The Seahawks have only used the franchise tag twice during his tenure, including last March in an attempt to reach a long-term deal with defensive end Frank Clark.
As for the transition tag, the organization hasn't used it since infamously placing the tender on All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson in 2006, eventually losing him to the Vikings in free agency.
While Seattle currently has the cap flexibility to use either tag, Schneider promised not to franchise Clowney as part of the August blockbuster deal to acquire him from Houston. As for Reed and Ifedi, each player would earn an estimated $15.5 million and $16.1 million respectively if given the non-exclusive franchise tag. And that's based on last year's values.
Considering Reed is coming off a down 2019 season that included a six-game suspension and the Seahawks turned down the opportunity to pay Ifedi $10 million with his fifth-year option, those franchise tag numbers would be too rich for retaining either player.
Even if Seattle broke trends and decided to use the transition tag, Reed would still make north of $12 million per year and Ifedi would earn over $14.5 million as estimated by OverTheCap.com. That's still far more than Schneider would want to pay.
As Schneider pointed out discussing the roster construction process, the landscape is constantly changing and Seattle's choice to trade Clark to Kansas City last April rather than extend him serves as a reminder that these types of decisions are always fluid.
"It’s really a daily or weekly process of figuring out how you’re going to put this thing together. We have some cap flexibility this year, which is great, but it’s not just about this year. It’s planning for next year and the following year as well. We have to be cognizant of where we’re going.”
Since the March 10 deadline for clubs to designate franchise or transition players is less than two weeks away, however, it seems unlikely Schneider will reconsider his stance. As a result, barring unforeseen extensions before the new league year opens on March 18, Ifedi and Reed will join Clowney on the market.