Franchise Tag
Dont’a Hightower is one of the players I think that will get franchise tagged. (Mike Roemer/AP)

Today is the official first day that NFL teams can set franchise and transition tags on their potential free agent players. For those of you who do not know how a franchise tag works here is an extremely simple explanation: it allows a team to tender a 1-year offer to one of its potential free agents. Because teams have a window from February 15-March 1, anything can happen from now until then. Here are the projected franchise tag numbers for this offseason:

Listed below are the players whom I think are a lock for the franchise tag. Additionally listed are other possibilities that might happen.

Guaranteed Franchise Tags:

Chandler Jones
Chandler Jones (Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports)

Chandler Jones DE, Cardinals – It is extremely likely that Chandler Jones gets franchise tagged. Team President, Mitchell Bidwell, said yesterday:

“He’s a great pass rusher, but if we can’t agree to terms that work for us, we’re just going to franchise him. His people know that.”

Kwann Short DT, Panthers 
Dont’a Hightower LB, Patriots

Le’Veon Bell RB, Steelers

Likely Candidates:

Dontari Poe
Dontari Poe (Rick Scuteri/ AP)

Dontari Poe DT, Chiefs – Because the team will not use the franchise tag on Eric Berry, they will opt to sign Poe. Poe will agree because the $13.5MM will be twice what he earned last season. This has to be the next best thing for the Chiefs. However, losing Berry can not be easy.

Jason Pierre-Paul DE, Giants
Terrelle Pryor WR, Browns
Trumaine Johnson CB, Rams

50/50 Chance:

Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins (Photo via Washington Redskins)

Kirk Cousins QB, Redskins – This case is incredibly intriguing to me. Cousins was tagged by the Redskins last season, making $19.95 MM. If the Redskins were to repeat his franchise tag (two consecutive years), he would make 120% of his last season’s salary which is $23.93 MM.

Melvin Ingram LB, Chargers

Not Going to Happen:

Eric Berry
Eric Berry (Ronald Martinez/ Getty Images)

Eric Berry S, Chiefs – He has said multiple times this past season that he would not play under a second consecutive franchise tag. Because this would be his second consecutive year with the franchise tag, (if he were to be tagged after all) he would make $12.97MM. That is $2MM over the franchise tag safety average. If the Chiefs and Berry could not come to an agreement in 2016, why would they this year?

A.J. Bouye CB, Texans
Stephon Gilmore CB, Bills
Alshon Jeffery WR, Bears


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