A few NFL teams used their franchise tags on Monday to lock in star players for next season, including the Las Vegas Raiders.
It was an expected move that the Raiders tagged running back Josh Jacobs, who is slated to make $10.1 million under the tag in 2023.
However, with all of these tags, there is the possibility that the Raiders and Jacobs find common ground on a long-term extension. If not, they will only have him for one season before he has the opportunity at free agency again prior to the 2024 season.
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The Raiders could have exercised Jacobs’ fifth-year option after he was drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
However, it was a bit complicated because it would’ve been an $8 million salary for the Alabama product last season.
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Despite rushing for more than 1,000 yards in his first two seasons, Jacobs had 872 yards in his 15 games of 2021. The Raiders were content letting Jacobs try to earn himself a new contract with a solid fourth year this past season, and he did just that with 1,653 yards, a career-high, with 12 touchdowns in 17 games. He averaged almost five yards per carry last season.
Jacobs wasn’t the only running back tagged on Monday as the Dallas Cowboys used it on Tony Pollard. He’s set to have the same $10.1 million salary for next season.
Pollard has quickly become a versatile option for the Cowboys as his ability to make big plays on the ground and through the air saw him on the field for 53% of offensive snaps.
But Pollard suffered a season-ending injury in the divisional round playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers that required surgery to repair. Still, Dallas is showing their clear thoughts that he will be ready for next season. They could also be using the tag to give themselves more time to sign a deal.
Pollard had his first 1,000-yard rushing season (1,007) with nine touchdowns while catching 39 passes for 371 yards and three touchdowns.
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The Jacksonville Jaguars also tagged tight end Evan Engram, who will make $11.35 million under it if a deal isn’t reached. Engram was always a candidate for the tag after setting career highs in catches (73) and receiving yards (766) in his first season after the New York Giants let him walk into free agency last year.
Finally, the Washington Commanders tagged defensive tackle Daron Payne, which is the biggest price at $18.937 million for next season. Payne had a career-high in sacks with 11.5 in 2022, which ranked third among his position.
All other NFL teams have until 4 p.m. on March 7 to place a tag on a player or they will head into free agency once the new league year begins on March 15.
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Players that are tagged have until July 15 to reach an extension before the tag’s price is locked for the 2023 season.