Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Tag, you're it: designations from around the division
The deadline to place the franchise or transition tag on players has passed, and the division was fairly active this year with its designations.
Here's a breakdown of who did what and what it means heading into the start of free agency:
NEW YORK JETS
DL Muhammad Wilkerson — Nonexclusive Franchise Tag
We covered this a bit here, but the Jets had few options with Wilkerson given their cap room and the other talent they are trying to hold onto. The move means another team would have to give Gang Green two first-round draft picks if they want to sign the Pro Bowler, and the Jets have until July to try and work out a long-term deal, or pay Wilkerson $15.7 million in 2016.
OT Cordy Glenn — Nonexclusive Franchise Tag
Retaining the solid parts of the offensive line is a major goal for general manager Doug Whaley this offseason, and this is the first move toward achieving that goal. Like the Jets and Wilkerson, the Bills still have until mid-July to work out a contract with the 26-year-old lineman. If not, the tag will cost the team around $14 million.
DE Olivier Vernon — Transition Tag
The designation guarantees the 25-year-old just south of $13 million for 2016 and also allows the Dolphins to match any offer the pass rusher may receive once the free agency period begins. Don't expect Miami to fight too hard for Vernon, though — as Armando Salguero points out, a big contract may steal Vernon away, similar to how things panned out last season with tight end Charles Clay.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
No tag placed.
Though Bill Belichick hasn't hesitated in the past to tag a player, the Pats don't really have a free agent that warrants the price that typically comes with the designation. Keep an eye on the team's defensive free agents this week, however, particularly those in the secondary. They could garner some attention.