The NFL’s franchise tag window opens on February 22 and closes on March 8. Which stars have been tagged? Which ones will reach free agency? Here’s our constantly updated franchise tag (and transition tag) tracker — we’ll keep a pulse on all the action before the start of the league year on March 16.
2022 NFL Franchise Tag Tracker
The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that each year, every team can designate one pending unrestricted free agent as a franchise or transition player.
The designation guarantees that player a one-year salary based on the current year’s salary cap and the position he plays. It is designed to allow teams to retain their best players while also fairly compensating the athletes for one year of service.
NFL Free Agent Rankings 2022: Pro Football Network’s Top 50
A player can be franchise-tagged more than once, but the price increases substantially each time they do it. A second tag results in at least a 20% bump in salary. A third tag results in at least a staggering 44% bump over Year 2. So, if a player is tagged at $10 million and then twice more in the two years that followed, the team will have paid him nearly $40 million total for those three seasons.
The transition tag is the franchise tag’s far less popular and useful cousin. While the franchise tag guarantees the club doing the tagging either the player’s rights that year or compensation should they lose him, the transition tag does not. All it does is give the club the right to match any free-agent contract the tagged player receives.
Players tagged in 2022
Candidates for the 2022 NFL franchise tag
There’s a bit of educated guessing involved when it comes to predicting who will get tagged, based on that player’s performance, his value, and their team’s salary cap situation. Here are the likeliest candidates, followed by their ranking on PFN’s Top 50 Free Agents.
- Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (No. 1)
- Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III (No. 3)
- New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (No. 4)
- Arizona Cardinals edge defender Chandler Jones (No. 6)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (No. 10)
- Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (No. 14)
- Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown (No. 15)
- Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Harold Landry (No. 21)
- Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki (No. 22)
- Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (No. 23)
Projected franchise and transition tag compensation
The NFL in December informed teams that the estimated salary cap for 2022 would be $208.2 million. That basically locked in the franchise and transition tag numbers for each position. Those salaries, according to Over The Cap, are as follows:
- Quarterback: $28.6 million (franchise), $25.7 million (transition)
- Defensive end: $20.2 million (franchise), $16.6 million (transition)
- Wide receiver: $19.1 million (franchise), $16.7 million (transition)
- Linebacker: $17.4 million (franchise), $14.9 million (transition)
- Cornerback: $17.3 million (franchise), $14.9 million (transition)
- Defensive tackle: $16.9 million (franchise), $13.6 million (transition)
- Offensive line: $16.7 million (franchise), $15 million (transition)
- Safety: $13.5 million (franchise), $11.3 million (transition)
- Running back: $12.5 million (franchise), $10.1 million (transition)
- Tight end: $10.8 million (franchise), $9.3 million (transition)
- Special teams: $5.5 million (franchise), $5 million (transition)