The Detroit Lions have abstained from using the Franchise Tag on their star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and now have until March 10th to agree to a long-term deal before he becomes a unrestricted free-agent. Tagging Suh would have cost $26.9 million for one year, an exorbitant amount that is unheard of for any player at any position other than quarterback. Of course the Lions would have had an opportunity during the next few months to continue to negotiate with Suh on a long-term deal had they tagged him. However, it would have crippled Detroit’s ability to address other areas of their team during free agency. If Suh does indeed hit free-agency he will likely command the most lucrative contract for a defensive player in NFL history, that’s north of $100 million. As for the Lions, the loss of Suh would be a significant step backwards considering the Lions made the playoffs last year and split the two game series with the Green Bay Packers. The NFC North goes through Green Bay and Suh is a big part (figuratively and literally) of that front four that has given Aaron Rodgers trouble, typically when the Lions are at home.
The Franchise Tag deadline may have been headlined by Ndamukong Suh but there are quite a few big names who were tagged, as well as those, that, like Suh were expected to be tagged but were not.
Dez Bryant WR Dallas Cowboys – Tagged – $12.823 million
Demariyus Thomas WR Denver Broncos – Tagged – $12.823 million
Jason Pierre-Paul DE New York Giants – Tagged – $14.813 million
Justin Houston OLB Kansas City Chiefs – Tagged – $13.195 million
Steven Gostkowski K New England Patriots – Tagged – $4.56 million
Charles Clay TE Miami Dolphins – Tagged (transition) – $7.071 million
Randall Cobb WR Green Bay Packers – Not Tagged
Jeremy Maclin WR Philadelphia Eagles – Not Tagged
Devin McCourty DB New England Patriots – Not Tagged
- The exclusive franchise tag is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position, or 120 percent of the player’s previous salary, whichever is greater. The player’s team has all negotiating rights to the player.
- The non-exclusive franchise tag is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position, or 120 percent of the player’s previous salary, whichever is greater. The player can negotiate with other teams. The player’s current team has the right to match any offer, or receive two first-round picks as compensation.
- The transition tag is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount that is the average of the top 10 salaries at the position. It guarantees the original club the right of first refusal to match any offer the player may receive from another team. The transition tag can only be used if the franchise tag is not used by a team in that year. Transition tags can be rescinded, but teams that rescind a transition tag cannot use it again until next season.