The NFL franchise tag window officially opens on Tuesday Feb. 19, which means that teams can now place the franchise tag on their own pending free agents. There does not appear to be anyone that the Jaguars will be using the tag on in 2019, however there are other pending free agents that could get tagged that will impact the Jaguars offseason.
Teams now have until March 5 at 4:00 P.M. ET to tag their players with either the exclusive franchise tag, non-exclusive franchise tag or the transition tag. The big name to watch obviously is Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who surprisingly a lot of people seem to think will get the franchise tag in the next two week period.
Starting today and until March 5, there could be at least 10 players receiving some form of a tag: DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Dee Ford, Frank Clark, Gardy Jarrett, Landon Collins, Nick Foles, Le’Veon Bell, Donovan Smith, Robbie Gould and Stephen Gostkowski, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 19, 2019
If you need to know the full nitty gritty of the NFL’s franchise tag, you can read this useful SB Nation Franchise Tag explainer.
How does the franchise tag impact the Jaguars?
Many, including myself, expect the Jaguars to be at least somewhat interested in quarterback Nick Foles this offseason. The Jaguars need a quarterback, Foles is at least an average quarterback who needs a team to start for. Easy peesy. The complication as far as the Jaguars concerned however would be the cost. I think that will be stumbling block for the Jaguars going forward and the franchise tag will likely rule them out of the Foles race. If the Eagles tag Foles, his projected 2019 salary would be $25.578 million guaranteed. That’s a salary the Eagles cannot carry and it’s going to make it the starting point for a long-term Foles deal.
If that’s Foles’ cost, I don’t think the Jaguars will be interested considering they scoffed at Kirk Cousins price tag last offseason and the team is going to be carrying a significant chunk of dead money after they release Blake Bortles.
Personally I think the Eagles are making a huge mistake if they plan to tag and trade Foles, as I’m not sure outside of being a true free agent, the market is going to be that big for Foles. If Foles is a true free agent I could see Jacksonville, Washington, Miami, New York and maybe a couple of other teams being in the race. If you have to trade for him and start the negotiations at $25 million per year... that pool dries up really quick.