Tag Day 2015 is a wrap and we now know who caught the franchise sticker and who has the greenlight to go for theirs in free agency. But just in case you missed something, here’s TSL’s pocket guide to the winners and losers:
DeMarco Murray made out like a fat rat, possibly at the expense of his own teammate. The Cowboys wanted desperately to keep both Dez Bryant and DeMarco on the roster but with salary cap implications looming they chose to hit up Dez with the franchise tag. That caps Bryant’s earning power at a 20 percent raise over last year, or about $13 million for the 2016 season while keeping him on the roster. Meanwhile, Murray can test the open market, even though we all know Big D will remain home.
Jason Pierre Paul is about to collect about $14.2 million after named franchise player for the G-Men. That is if he signs the one-year deal, which he isn’t expected to do anytime soon. JPP doesn’t have many options since he’s been tagged, but he’d rather get a long-term deal done (duh) to remain with the Giants although at this point, there’s not a ton of incentive for the team to do more negotiating, at least not until after free agency. It could backfire on the Giants, though. If JPP puts up another 12.5-sack season, his value will skyrocket when he hits free agency next year, and they won’t be able to afford tagging him again.
Stephen Gostkowski…??? Does anything make sense in New England? You could lock up one of the best corners in a league where there’s terribly few of them, or you could tag the damn kicker and let Devin McCourty see what they hittin fo’. As with everything else, this probably works out perfectly for New England, where it seems like they always know something the rest of us don’t. Franchising Gostkowski will cost the Pats $4.5 million next year, way cheaper than McCourty, who we’re sure isn’t crying. He’ll be the best veteran D-back in free agency and there are few decent corners in the draft. Translation: he’s gonna get paid.
Ndamukong Suh must’ve
hit the Schmoney Dance been the happiest man under The Shield when the franchise deadline passed. The Lions had to balance their salary cap issues (they have Matthew Stafford and Megatron) versus their need to keep the best edge rusher on earth on lockdown. Suh would've cost them about $26 mill to tag, so they let him go, and now he stands to grab a long-term deal in the $100 million neighborhood elsewhere.