Do the Jets have any franchise tag candidates?
Tuesday marked an important day on the NFL calendar. It’s the first day of the window where teams can place either the franchise or transitional tag on a pending free agent before he hits the open market. Teams have until March 7 to decide if they’re going to use the tag. Teams can use one or the other. They cannot use both tags.
While some teams have obvious candidates for the franchise tag — Lamar Jackson for the Ravens, Daniel Jones or Saquon Barkley for the Giants — the Jets don’t really seem to have a player they need to use the tag on.
Some might say the Jets could look at center Connor McGovern. But keep in mind that when it comes to the tags, the positions within the offensive line are not separated. All offensive lineman are grouped together, so a center would get the same amount as a tackle or guard. So in this case, if the Jets were to slap the franchise tag on McGovern, that would be over $18 million for one year. That obviously isn’t happening.
What about Quincy Williams, some may ask. Williams is good and a player the Jets need to look at bringing back. But not at almost $21 million, which is what the linebacker tag would cost. Even the transition tag is over $17 million.
Ok, so maybe Sheldon Rankins? Not for $19 million. Rankins is good, but he’s not $2 million a year less than Quinnen Williams good (based on the presumed $21 million per year estimate of Williams’ next contract).
So all in all, the Jets are unlikely to use either tag this year. They already have to play a little bit of cap gymnastics before the league year begins on March 15. Using either tag further complicates that, especially when you have to pay Quinnen Williams at some point.
This would mark the sixth time in the last seven years the Jets don’t use one of their tags. They tagged Marcus Maye in 2021, which was the first time using the tag since Muhammad Wilkerson in 2016.