NFL teams are finalizing their rosters ahead of 2023 free agency and making some last-ditch efforts to retain some of their top players.
That said, not all free agents will agree to long-term deals with their clubs. Those that don’t will force their team to make a critical decision.
Will the team let that player potentially walk, or keep them around for another year with the franchise tag?
BEST QB OPTIONS: Jets | Panthers | Raiders | Colts
The franchise tag allows teams to extend the contract of any one player for one year at a pre-determined, league-wide value. Teams must make a decision to use the tender by 4 p.m. ET on March 7 in 2023 or risk losing a potential pending free agent to another team.
The franchise tag isn’t as widely used as it once was, but there are still plenty of teams that will utilize it to keep a high-end player on board. The tag is often used on quarterbacks, as it prevents the best of the best from entering free agency and provides each club with extra time to broker a long-term deal with the passer.
Lamar Jackson seems likely to get that treatment in 2023. Daniel Jones and Geno Smith may see the same.
But who else might receive the tag? Here’s a breakdown of the top candidates to be slapped with the tag and the latest news, rumors and updates about players that have been franchise tagged in 2023.
MORE: NFL franchise tags, explained: Updated position values, deadlines & rules to know for 2023
NFL franchise tag tracker
Below is a look at the players that have been tendered a franchise tag for the 2023 NFL season.
Josh Jacobs, Raiders
- Tag estimate: $10,091,000
Jacobs becomes the second running back to be slapped with the franchise tag during the 2023 NFL offseason. This is hardly a surprise, as the 25-year-old led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,653 in Josh McDaniels’ first year with the Raiders. He also shouldered 340 carries and was named an AP All-Pro.
Source: The #Raiders have officially franchise tagged RB Josh Jacobs.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2023
McDaniels had expressed an interest in retaining Jacobs at the 2023 NFL Combine.
“That’s the hope and the goal is that he’s here for a while,” he said, per NFL.com.
Now, Jacobs will remain in Las Vegas for at least one more year. The Raiders will have about four months to guarantee that stay will be longer by signing Jacobs to a long-term extension.
Tony Pollard, Cowboys
- Tag estimate: $10,091,000
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated at the NFL Combine that the team might be leaning toward using the tag on Pollard, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday that the decision had been made.
There was never any question about whether Pollard would be back in Dallas in 2023 regardless of whether the parties could reach a long-term deal. Pollard took on a larger role in 2022, with a career-high 193 carries. He rewarded the Cowboys with 1,007 rushing yards (5.2 yards per carry) and a career-best 12 total touchdowns.
Cowboys now have placed their franchise tag on RB Tony Pollard, per source. RB franchise tag is $10.09 million.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 6, 2023
Evan Engram, Jaguars
- Tag estimate: $11,345,000
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Engram is expected to be slapped with the franchise tag by the Jaguars. This is no surprise considering that the 2017 first-round pick enjoyed a career year in Jacksonville, catching 73 passes for 766 yards and four touchdowns, the former of which were career-best marks.
Engram will now get to work in Doug Pederson’s tight-end-friendly offense for at least one more season. Meanwhile, the Jaguars can buy themselves some extra time to ink the 28-year-old Engram to a mutually beneficial long-term contract.
Jaguars are expected to place the franchise tag on TE Evan Engram, per source. The tight end franchise tag is $11.345 million.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 2, 2023
Daron Payne, Commanders
- Tag estimate: $18,937,000
The Commanders became the first team to use their 2023 franchise tag when they placed it on defensive tackle Daron Payne. The 25-year-old was a first-round pick out of Alabama in the 2018 NFL Draft and has helped transform the Washington defensive line into a juggernaut alongside his college teammate and fellow defensive tackle Jonathan Allen.
Payne recorded a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2022 and was named to his first Pro Bowl because of his strong performance. However, he posted the worst run defense grade of his career — 43.5, per Pro Football Focus — so he has some room for improvement in 2023.
We have applied the franchise tag to DT Daron Payne
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) February 28, 2023
MORE: What exclusive vs. non-exclusive franchise tags mean for Lamar Jackson, Ravens
Notable NFL franchise tag candidates
Lamar Jackson is the standout among potential franchise tag candidates, as the Ravens quarterback looks to strike a long-term deal with the franchise ahead of free agency.
That said, there are plenty of other potential free agents that could be slapped with the tag if they can’t agree on extensions with their current teams. Below is a list of the most notable candidates, per SN’s Dan Treacy:
- Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
- Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
- Daniel Jones, QB, Giants
- Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks
- Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
- Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys
- Orlando Brown Jr., OT, Chiefs
- Jessie Bates, S, Bengals
For more analysis on each candidate, you can click here.
MORE: Should Ravens give Lamar Jackson a new contract?
NFL franchise tag values for 2023
Below is a full list of the estimated non-exclusive franchise tag values for the 2023 offseason. For more on the NFL’s franchise tag rules and procedures, you can click here.
|Position||Non-exclusive tag value|
|Running back||$10.091 million|
|Wide receiver||$19.743 million|
|Tight end||$11.345 million|
|Offensive line||$18.244 million|
|Defensive end||$19.727 million|
|Defensive tackle||$18.937 million|