NFL Teams Can Begin Designating Franchise Players on Tuesday

The Super Bowl took place just two weeks ago, but the offseason is already in full swing. Teams have already been busy restructuring contracts and scouting players for the draft, and the next big date starts on Tuesday. That’s when teams can utilize the franchise tag, which allows them to bring back a free agent on a one-year deal. The franchise tag keeps players from becoming free agents — which is a negative for the player — but it does reward them with the average of the top five salaries at their position.

Many teams will have to decide on the franchise tag, but the Cowboys will get the most attention. Quarterback Dak Prescott is a free agent, and he played on a franchise tag in 2020. He made $31.4M last season, and the Cowboys will have to decide to utilize that option again, sign him to a multi-year extension, or let him move on to a different franchise. Prescott is widely expected to return to the Cowboys next season, so that last option seems completely off the table.

Other players who could receive the franchise tag in 2021 include Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Brandon Scherff, Leonard Williams, and Shaq Barrett. Scherff, Williams, and Barrett all played under the franchise tag in 2020, and all three players turned in excellent seasons.