The tag deadline arrives on Tuesday, in only two days. And only two guys have been tagged since the window opened 12 days ago.
On the first day, the Dolphins applied the franchise tag to receiver Jarvis Landry. More recently, the Lions used the franchise tag on defensive end Ziggy Ansah. Here’s a list of the other hot spots as the final 48 hours of the process loom.
Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller, whose fifth-year option wasn’t picked up by the team a year ago, could be franchise tagged after a strong 2017.
The Panthers reportedly are considering using the franchise tag on kicker Graham Gano.
The Seahawks reportedly won’t be tagging defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.
The Rams reportedly are more inclined to tag safety Lemarcus Joyner than receiver Sammy Watkins.
At the outset of the process, we set the over-under for tags at 5.5. At this point, Lawrence is the only sure thing, barring a long-term deal. Bell, Robinson, and Joyner are strong possibilities. Fuller and Gano could happen as well. Eight could be the ceiling, which means that up to six more tags could be coming in the next two days.
Of course, in the effort to by comprehensive, we’ve probably overlooked someone. Feel free to point out the omission in the comments. As if you ever need to be asked.
The market for top guards has skyrocketed, with the Browns setting the bar when they gave Kevin Zeitler a five-year, $60 million deal last offseason. Norwell would figure to be in the same neighborhood, and while Gettleman didn’t speak specifically about him, he was asked whether there was value in paying any guard $12 million a year.
There isn’t a quarterback alive that’s going to get in the huddle and say, ＆OK, boys, let them up the middle. I’ll deal with it,’ Gettleman said. You need to be firm in the middle. So at the end of the day if it’s keeping your quarterback upright and out of the hospital. . . .
There’s a bunch of guards now that are getting paid. And if you think about it, they’re closer to the quarterback. Listen, it’s the market. Is that car worth $150,000? If someone buys it, I guess it’s worth it, you know what I mean?
While short of a declaration, that’s a pretty good omen for Norwell, who Gettleman signed as an undrafted rookie in 2014.