Will the Buccaneers use the franchise tag in 2017?
More from The Pewter Plank
- Devin White posts cryptic message to Lavonte David on Twitter
- ESPN predicts surprising outcome to Devin White trade saga
- Updated Buccaneers depth chart after signing two players from rookie minicamp
- Todd Bowles sends clear message about Baker Mayfield’s role with Bucs
- The Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023
The first landmark of the NFL off-season is here, the franchise tag period. Until March 1 at 4:00 PM EST, the Buccaneers, along with the rest of the league, have the opportunity to give one of their free agents the tag, allowing them additional rights to the player.
Jason Licht has done a great job in rebuilding the Bucs. Through the draft and some key free agents, he has taken a team that nobody noticed and turned them into a team that the league HAS to notice. They are now a contender, thanks in part to the moves of Licht and his team.
One thing he hasn’t done, however, is use the franchise tag. Not every team uses it every year, as only nine teams used it in 2016 as an example. But Licht on the other hand, has not used it at all and we are into year four.
Will that trend continue in 2017? Odds are that the answer to the question is yes.
Keep in mind what being tagged means. It locks the player up at a salary which is dependent upon the position they play. Let’s take a look at the tag numbers, as per the most recent update from the NFLPA:
In theory, Mike Glennon could receive the tag. He is almost guaranteed to receive a ton of interest on the open market, why not try to get compensation for him, right? No, not right. If Glennon were the starter it would be another story. We all know that he would return as the backup. If nobody was willing to deal for Glennon, the Bucs would be stuck with a $19 million backup quarterback. Nobody wants that.
Jenna Laine of ESPN believes that William Gholston is the Bucs top internal priority to re-sign. How about tagging him? Well, that would make his salary $15.7 million. Now, he did have a nice year, posting a career-high 3.5 sacks. But for his career he has only posted 10.5 sacks. He has averaged 42 tackles per year. He should be brought back, but are those $15 million statistics? No way.
Jacquizz Rodgers hasn’t had enough experience as a lead back to command big money. Joe Hawley? $13 million is a lot for a center that isn’t a guy like Nick Mangold or Maurkice Pouncey. Go down the list. there just isn’t anyone deserving of the tag.
So, don’t expect Licht to use it. Instead, the Bucs will use the time for strategizing their free agent priorities. Who gets tagged, if anyone, around the league? The decisions turned in by other teams will shape the Bucs strategy. If Alshon Jeffrey is tagged, for example, it may move the team away from him, knowing that compensation would be in play to sign him.
Come March 1, don’t expect Jason Licht to break with tradition. He will use it to plan a course of action. Agree, Bucs fans?