Agent Notice: Deadline Approaching for Four Other Named Franchise Players to Sign Long-Term Agreement

Time is running out for teams to sign players who have received franchise designation to a long-term deal. The deadline for franchise players to sign multi-year contracts is July 15 at 4 p.m. ET. After the deadline has passed, players with franchise tags are prohibited from signing long-term agreements until the end of the regular season on January 8, 2023.

Eight players received the franchise player designation this year. Four have already signed long-term. Both franchise wide receivers quickly agreed to deals after the start of the 2022 league year on March 16. The Buccaneers gave Chris Godwin a three-year, $60 million deal with $40 million fully guaranteed despite tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee late in the 2021 regular season.

The Raiders acquired Davante Adams from the Packers for the 2022 first- and second-round picks in a sign-and-trade deal. Adams signed a five-year, $140 million contract containing $65.67 million in guarantees. Adams’ maximum contract value is $141.25 million due to a $250,000 annual Pro Bowl incentive. Adams’ contract is actually $67.5 million over three years, as there’s been $72.5 million in the last two years. The odds of Adams playing in 2025 and 2026 for $36.25 million apiece at ages 32 and 33 are slim.

The Jaguars signed left tackle Cam Robinson to a three-year, $52.75 million deal, with $33 million fully guaranteed. The deal is worth up to $54.25 million with incentives.

The Browns made David Njoku the fifth highest-paid tight end in the NFL with an average annual salary of $13,687,500 per year. Njoku’s four-year, $54.75 million contract comes with $28 million in guarantees. The maximum deal value is $56.75 million through $500,000 in annual incentives based on All-Pro selections.

Here’s a look at the situations of the four players in the franchise who haven’t signed long-term.

There was no doubt that the Chiefs were going to franchise Brown for $16.662 million. The Chiefs couldn’t risk Brown potentially being a one-year hire by becoming a free agent given the draft capital required to get him from the Ravens shortly before the 2021 NFL Draft.

Brown forced a trade because he wanted to be a left tackle, which wasn’t possible in Baltimore because of All-Pro Ronnie Stanley. The Chiefs traded their 2021 first-round pick (31st overall), a 2021 third-round pick, a 2022 fourth-round pick and a 2022 fifth-round pick to the Ravens for Brown, a 2021 second-round pick and a sixth in 2022. round pickaxe.

Brown validated his move from right tackle to left tackle with a Pro Bowl selection last season. The Chiefs are likely to join the ranks of teams paying a premium financially when a long-term deal for a player who had time remaining on his contract is not completed in a trade involving significant project capital.

Brown, who recently hired Delta Sports Group’s Michael Portner as his new agent, expressed optimism about his signing. Any long-term deal will surely put Brown in the $20 million-a-year offensive lineman club, which currently has three members. Left tackles Trent Williams, David Bakhtiari and Laremy Tunsil have deals with the 49ers, Packers and Texans, averaging $23.01 million, $23 million and $22 million per year, respectively.

Bates reportedly has no intention of playing under his $12.911 million franchise tag. To sit out the season if a long-term deal isn’t agreed by July 15 would be surprising. The franchise tag is more than double what Bates made from his four-year rookie contract which expired after the 2021 season. Bates’ career earnings to date from his NFL player contract are slightly higher than $6.225 million.

It is rare for franchise players to miss a season. The last time that happened before Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell in 2018 was with Chiefs defensive lineman Dan Williams in 1998.

The Bengals likely take the $14 million a year that Marcus Williams, who was named a franchise player by the Saints in 2021, received from the Ravens under a five-year free agency contract this year as an indication. of the value of Bates. Bates was likely looking for a deal in the same neighborhood as Jamal Adams, who reset the security market with a four-year, $70 million contract extension worth an average of $17.5 million a year and worth up to $72 million through Seahawks incentives and salary increases. last August.

This was before recent developments in the security market. The Steelers making Minkah Fitzpatrick the league’s highest-paid safety on a four-year extension, averaging $18.247 million a year with $36 million fully guaranteed, only complicates matters.

Schultz quickly signed his $10.931 million tender after the Cowboys made him a franchise player in March. Frustrated with the slow pace of negotiations for a new contract, Schultz skipped the last part of organized team activities. He avoided a $95,877 fine by showing up for the mandatory minicamp in June.

The Cowboys can’t be happy with the deal with Njoku. Njoku’s annual average of $13,687,500 should serve as a floor salary for Schultz, especially since Njoku does not match him statistically.

Schultz had a career year in 2021 with 78 catches, 808 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He was more productive last season in 17 games than Njoku in the last two seasons combined in the 29 games he played. Njoku caught 55 passes for 688 yards with six touchdowns. Schultz produced 23 more receptions, 120 more receiving yards and two more touchdowns than Njoku.

Schultz and the Cowboys are reportedly nowhere near a deal. Playing the franchise game wasn’t the most economical decision for the Cowboys. The last two times Dallas had someone play a season under a franchise label, it cost them more to eventually sign the players long-term. The same concept would likely apply to Schultz with a productive 2022 season.

The Cowboys certainly wouldn’t have needed to sign defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to a five-year, $105 million deal, or an average of $21 million per year, had a deal been made in 2018. the July 15 long-term deal deadline, the $20 million-a-year quarterback didn’t exist.

Dak Prescott does not sign a $40 million contract in March 2021 with a deal reached in July 2020. Chances are Prescott’s deal would have been less than the $35 million per year extension that Russell Wilson signed with the Seahawks in 2019. Deshaun Watson didn’t get his $39 million a year extension from the Texans, which was apparently a big data point for Prescott, just before the start of the 2020 regular season.

Everything was calm on the front of the Gesicki contract. Unless something changes, Gesicki will play under the $10.931 million franchise tag he signed in March.

Similar to the Cowboys and Schultz, the Browns did the Dolphins no favors with Njoku’s contract. Gesicki’s 2021 production was also better than Njoku’s in the past two seasons. His career-high 73 catches and 780 receiving yards were 18 more and 92 more than Njoku, respectively.

There’s a potential dynamic with Gesicki that doesn’t exist with Schultz. Gesicki could follow in Jimmy Graham’s footsteps and grieve to be rated as a wide receiver instead of a tight end with his franchise player designation. The difference between the two tags is $7.488 million, as the 2022 wide receiver number is $18.419 million.

Under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, franchise tags are determined by the position where the player appeared in the most games during the previous season. According to Pro Football Focus, 54.78% of Gesicki’s 827 attacking snaps in 2021 were in the slot, 11.97% were in the tight line and 30.74% were off wide.

Graham lost his grievance in 2014. Referee Stephen Burbank ruled that Graham was a tight end when lined up in the slot within 4 yards of an offensive lineman, which he did on more 50% of his games with the Saints in 2013.

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