More news with regard to Franchise Tags and extensions continues to roll in with Wednesday’s 3 p.m. deadline looming. Here is the latest …
- Antonio Brown’s new deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers could pay dividends for Alshon Jeffery in his search for a new contract. Pittsburgh made Brown the league’s highest-paid receiver (on a per-year average basis) on Monday, signing him to a four-year extension worth $68 million. The breakdown of the deal is $17 million per year over the four years and $18.5 million over the first three, according to Ian Rapoport. And while there is a major difference between Brown’s consistent All-Pro contributions and what Jeffery has done in his career, Brown’s deal is a market mover that raises the price tag for free agents and receivers looking for extensions of their own in the near or distant future.
— Antonio Brown (@AntonioBrown) February 27, 2017
- The Kansas City Chiefs are working with Eric Berry to create a contract that would make him the highest paid safety in football. Lakisha Jackson of NFL.com cites an Ian Rapoport report that both sides are working hard on a deal to be finalized before Wednesday’s Franchise tag deadline. Kevin Parra of Around The NFL recently wrote that Berry – who thought he would sign a long-term deal last offseason – wasn’t all that optimistic a deal would get done this offseason, citing a report in the Kansas City Star. But apparently, both sides are inching toward a deal that keeps him in Kansas City.
- A long-term deal between Berry and the Chiefs could allow the team to slap the Franchise Tag on star defensive tackle Dontari Poe. Both Poe and Berry are listed as free agents-to-be, but only one can receive the tag. Meaning that one would be guaranteed to become a free agent if neither came to a long-term deal before Wednesday’s deadline. According to Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report, the Chiefs reportedly would have tagged Berry over Poe, allowing the two-time Pro Bowler to test the free agent waters. However, there is a way for Kansas City to keep both:
Once #Chiefs lock up Eric Berry — and they're trying — it opens up the possibility of franchise tagging DT Dontari Poe. Could keep both
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 27, 2017
- On the Franchise Tag front, a pair of top-notch pass rushers were tagged on Monday evening. We’ll start with Melvin Ingram of the Chargers, who will play under the Franchise Tag as a linebacker – which Around The NFL’s Chris Wesseling estimates will be around $14.129 million in 2017. Earlier in the offseason, ESPN’s John Clayton estimated the Franchise tag for linebackers would be $15.3 million. In any case, the free agent market will miss Ingram, who has 18.5 sacks in the last two seasons, and graded out to be Pro Football Focus’ sixth best edge rusher (88.1) in 2016.
- Jason Pierre-Paul recovered nicely from a hand injury stemming from a fireworks incident to record seven sacks in 2016. So much so, the New York Giants have placed the non-exclusive Franchise tag on Pierre-Paul, which Mike Florio believes will be worth $16.83 million. New York might not want to do a deal at that price, but with other teams potentially lurking to add Pierre-Paul, they had no choice but to tag him. Pierre-Paul could negotiate a contract with another team under the non-exclusive tag, but the team that signs him would have to send two first-round picks to the Giants in return if New York does not want to match the offer. The New York Post reports the two sides are nowhere near close to coming to an agreement on a long-term deal.
- There is no indication yet whether or not the New England Patriots will slap the Franchise Tag on linebacker Dont’a Hightower. According to CBS Boston, it would be viewed as an indication that the two sides were close on a long-term deal if the Patriots were to tag Hightower. However, there is nothing imminent in terms of an extension or news of a tag.
- According to Scout.com’s Bob Garcia IV, the Rams are expected to tag cornerback Trumaine Johnson for the second straight offseason. Garcia IV estimates the tag will cost the Rams $16.7 million – which means more than 40 percent of the team’s projected cap space would be locked into one player. It would be a productive player, as Johnson’s 81.0 grade at PFF ranks 26th among the 112 qualifiers at the position.