NFL Franchise Tag 2020 tracker: Full list of players to receive tags ahead of free agency


While the sports world deals with uncertain futures in the face of the coronavirus pandemic (get the latest updates at CBS News), the NFL gained some measure of stability on Sunday after the NFLPA voted to ratify the proposed collective bargaining agreement. The vote locks the league into labor peace for the next 10 years, and now the NFL can move on to plans for the 2020 league year.

As a result of the new CBA, teams will only be allowed to extend one franchise or transition tag to impending free agents. Had a new deal not passed and the league year began with no CBA in place past 2020, teams would have been able to use both a franchise and transition tag had they so chosen. That’s a not-trivial distinction for teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans that faced the prospect of losing multiple key players.

We’ll keep you updated here with all the players to receive the franchise or transition tag ahead of 2020 NFL free agency. Players are listed alphabetically by team.

After the Ravens said goodbye to two of their top three pass rushers from 2018, it was the one who stayed who stepped up to fill the void. Matt Judon delivered a career-high 9.5 sacks and 33 quarterback hits in 2019. After recording 16.3% of the team’s sacks and 19.2% of the team’s QB hits the previous year, Judon was the anchor of the Ravens defense in 2019, racking up 25.7% of the sacks and 29.7% of the quarterback hits in Baltimore.

As of now, the Ravens have decided to not let history repeat itself and let Judon walk out the door. He would be tough to replace for a team that should focus on stabilizing its front-seven during the offseason. However, the possibility of a tag-and-trade was already bandied about before the decision was made to tag the pass-rusher, so there’s no guarantee he’ll be suiting up for Baltimore by the time Week 1 rolls around.

The Broncos secondary has long been defined by its cornerback play, from Chris Harris to Aqib Talib to Bradley Roby and so on. Starting in 2018 and continuing on last year, Justin Simmons has emerged as the face of that unit. The talented safety started all 16 games in each of those seasons, finishing tied for first with three interceptions in 2018 and then leading the Broncos by recording four of the team’s 10 picks last year. He’s also finished second in combined tackles on the team in both years, while his passes defensed spiked from four in 2018 to 15 last season.

At 26, Simmons is a key piece to this defense moving forward, a player to help maintain stability on the back end during an offseason where the Broncos are expected to lose a longtime lineup fixture in Harris. Expect the team to work toward a long-term deal with Simmons during the coming weeks rather than risk losing him to the open market in 2021.

The Jaguars have entered rebuild mode on the defensive side of the ball. After parting ways with Malik Jackson and Tashaun Gipson prior to last year’s free agency then watching Telvin Smith step away from football last summer, the Jaguars traded Jalen Ramsey to the Rams during the 2019 season, declined Marcell Dareus’ option in February and then traded A.J. Bouye to the Broncos for a fourth-round pick. The Jaguars then agreed to a trade following the passage of the new CBA that sends veteran Calais Campbell to Baltimore. The core of the defense that took the Jaguars to the AFC Championship has been reduced to Myles Jack, 2019 first-round pick Josh Allen and Yannick Ngakoue, the talented pass-rusher who has managed 37.5 sacks in four seasons with the team.

Like Ramsey before him, Ngakoue appears to have no interest in remaining in Jacksonville long-term, so the team should be motivated to work out a trade to send him away for at least one premium draft pick this offseason.

When Hunter Henry has been on the field for the Chargers, he’s been incredibly productive. His stats over his first four years work out to a 16-game average season of 53 catches, 667 yards and 6.6 TDs. Multiply those numbers by four, and only 33 players had reception (212), yardage (2,668) and touchdown (26) total numbers between 2016-19 at that level, while just three of those players were tight ends. Henry himself won’t be on that list, however, and that’s because he’s been wrecked by injuries during his time in the league. He played 29 of a possible 32 games in his first two years but missed 2018 with a torn ACL suffered in OTAs (though he did return for the team’s playoff loss to the Patriots), then missed four games last year with a tibia plateau fracture.

Even with his injury history, Henry is one of the top players at his position in the league, so it makes sense to tag him and try and work out a long-term deal. But it appears the biggest roadblock to delivering on his now-elevated price tag could be his ability to stay on the field.

Brandon Scherff has been the rock of the Washington offensive line ever since he was taken at No. 5 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft between Amari Cooper and Leonard Williams. While the Trent Williams situation has turned acrimonious between player and team, Scherff has played a part in giving the offensive line some stability and high-level play, to which his three Pro Bowl trips can attest. But Scherff has also dealt with injuries since starting every game in his first two seasons, as he’s played in just 33 of a possible 48 games over the last three years.

Players of Scherff’s caliber are hard to find, and it makes sense for Washington to want to hold on to him as long as possible as the offense looks to grow under second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins.





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