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These Franchise Tagged Players Remain Unsigned For 2022

The deadline for the NFL franchise tag is Friday, July 15th and many are still unsigned. Who are the biggest names and what does this mean for them and their teams?

Dec 12, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown (57) during the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The deadline for the NFL franchise tag is Friday, July 15th and many are still unsigned. Who are the biggest names and what does this mean for them and their teams?

As of today, July 15th at 10:00 AM Central Time, there are two players that were given the franchise tag that remain unsigned. The deadline for players to sign an extension with their respective teams is 4:00 PM ET, and it remains to be seen whether these four players will get a deal done.

The Details Of The Franchise Tag

The franchise tag was originally a tool to help extend a team’s right to negotiate a deal exclusively with a player. It was meant to keep them from the free agent market and provide some “good faith” compensation in the event the two parties were not able to negotiate a deal. However, it has quickly turned into a sign of disrespect over the last decade.

The value of the tag is determined by averaging the top five salaries from the player’s position. This could draw scrutiny from certain players like Leonard Williams (who was tagged in 2021) or Mike Gesicki, who may be listed under one position, but oftentimes line up in other, more valuable, positions. This can skew the value of the tag itself, allowing teams to pay much less than anticipated.

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Once tagged, the player can either sign the tag, sign an extension, or hold out and will have several months to do so. But, with several players and teams, we often see these deals going all the way to the last minute and we are officially in the eleventh hour.

Dalton Schultz & Mike Gesicki

Luckily for the Dolphins and Cowboys, their star tight ends have decided to sign the franchise tag tender despite not coming to an agreement on a long term deal. Mike Gesicki in particular had a positon designation grievance, but decided it would be best for their locker room not to raise a fuss. Schultz also felt it necessary to sign the tag and bet on himself for the 2022 season.

Both tight ends look to be major contributors in their respective offenses, but as things currently stand, they will be free agents in 2023. Both are expected for training camp as they position themselves for major contracts in 2023.

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Jessie Bates III – Cincinnati Bengals

Jessie Bates, one of the best young safeties in the league, was hit with the tag after helping lead the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since the late-80s. His tag was valued at $12.911 million for the 2022 season. Currently, the highest paid safety (Minkah Fitzpartick, Steelers) makes around $18.4 million per year on the extension he signed just a few weeks ago. This puts the tag well below the market reset that he is looking for.

Since entering the league in 2018 as a second round draft pick, Bates has been the Bengals full time starter at safety, only missing two starts in four seasons. His reliability, willingness to tackle, and leadership skills makes him very valuable. His 2021 performance slipped a bit compared to previous season, but there is no denying the talent he brings to the field.

It is very unlikely that the two sides will not come to an agreement, with Bates missing the start of training camp. With Burrow’s contact likely coming due next offseason, this could be his last season in Cincinnati. We will see how these final hours shake out for the Bengals and their star safety.

Orlando Brown Jr. – Kansas City Chiefs

After completely remaking the offensive line, Orlando Brown was added to fill the most important position and did a solid job last season. When Kansas City acquired Orlando Brown Jr. with their 2021 first round pick, their initial plan was to sign him to a long term extension making him the LT of the future. Instead, he was franchise tagged to start what was a wild offseason for the Chiefs.

Unfortunately, Orlando Brown did not have any representation at the start of the offseason, and negotiations were delayed. The Chiefs eventually placed the franchise tag on Orlando Brown in the hopes that they could negotiate after he had hired an agent. As of last month, Orlando Brown had hired an agent, but this did not speed up the negotiation process as many fans had hoped.

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It has been reported that Orlando Brown Jr. is seeking a deal around $23 million per year. A deal of this structure would put him among the highest paid NFL left tackles. In the company of players like Trent Williams, David Bakhtiari, and Laremy Tunsil. If he does not sign an extension, it is likely the Chiefs will be without Brown for training camp and potentially week one of the season.

While the salary cap has increased nearly 15% over just the last year, contract values are likely to rise in the coming offseasons. The Chiefs just have to decide if they want to reset the NFL’s left tackle market now, or wait until 2023 to give it another go with Brown Jr. Either way, this will have a major impact on their longterm plans.

Dan Portillo

Check out some of Dan’s other Stadium Rant content here. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_tf40 and check in with his podcast The Fastest 40 on SpotifyAnchorApple Podcasts, & anywhere you listen to podcasts!

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Written By

Daniel, a Missouri State University graduate, is all about Kansas City. As an avid Chiefs and Royals fan, you will catch him at Arrowhead and Kauffman multiple times a year. When he is not at the stadiums, he is watching the games at home with his wife, Megan, and their dogs, Chief and Lamar.

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