Jets history with the franchise tag

The franchise tag is a very interesting tool in the NFL world and one that has a varying degree of opinions, depending on who you talk to.

While it helps teams secure a player that would otherwise become a free agent, players for the most part do not like it because it doesn’t give them long-term stability and the money, more often that not, isn’t market value, especially at the quarterback position.

The franchise and transition tags date back to 1993 when free agency was created in the NFL. The Jets don’t have too much history with using the two tags. Only six times have the Jets used the franchise tag while the transition tag has been used just twice.

With the window open for teams to use the tags, let’s take a quick look at the players that have received a tag from Jets over the years.

WR Rob Moore (transition tag in 1994, franchise tag in 1995)

This was the first time the Jets have used the transition tag on a player, which nowadays is based on the average of the top ten salaries at the position rather than the top five, which is what the franchise tag is.

Moore was drafted by the Jets in the first round of the 1990 supplemental draft and played five years in New York. The fifth year was the transition tag year for Moore.

In 1995, the Jets placed the franchise tag on Moore before ultimately trading him to the Cardinals in a deal that sent first- and fourth-round picks in the 1995 draft plus RB Ronald Moore to the Jets. Those picks became DE Hugh Douglas and OT Melvin Hayes.

TE Kyle Brady (transition tag 1999)

Ah, Kyle Brady. The player the Jets selected instead of Warren Sapp with the 9th pick of the 1995 draft. What could have been?

Regardless, Brady wound up having a decent NFL career, albeit not all with the Jets. New York used the transition tag on Brady in 1999. He was signed an offer sheet with the Jaguars and the Jets declined to match that sheet. As it was the transition tag, the Jets received no compensation for losing Brady.

Brady caught 93 passes for 949 yards and ten touchdowns in his four seasons with the Jets.

DE John Abraham (franchise tag 2006)

John Abraham was one of the key cogs to the Jets’ defense in the early 2000s. The No. 13 overall pick in the 2000 draft (perhaps some good luck for the 2023 draft?) played six seasons in New York, recording 53.5 sacks in 73 games (64 starts) and went to the Pro Bowl three times.

The Jets used the franchise tag on Abraham in 2006 before trading him a month later to the Atlanta Falcons in a three-team deal that also involved the Broncos. The Jets received the 29th overall pick from Denver, a pick that became center Nick Mangold, who only went on to become one of the greatest players to wear a Jets uniform and is now in the Ring of Honor.

Abraham would record 68.5 sacks in seven seasons with the Falcons and 11.5 in 2013 with the Cardinals.

LB Davis Harris (franchise tag 2011)

One of the more consistent tacklers over the course of his career, Davis Harris was a mainstay in the middle of the Jets’ defense for ten seasons. Harris reached 100 tackles seven times and also had a season with 95. Harris also racked up 35 sacks during his time with the Jets.

The Jets tagged Harris in 2011. Just a few weeks before the season, Harris and the Jets were able to agree to a long-term contract (four years, $36 million). He would sign one more three-year deal with the Jets before finishing his career with the Patriots.

DT Muhammad Wilkerson (franchise tag 2016)

Muhammad Wilkerson was the Jets’ first-round pick, No. 30 overall, in the 2011 draft out of Temple. He steadily got better over his first few years in the league, recording his first double-digit sack season (10.5) in his third year in 2013. He added another 12-sack season in 2015 before heading into free agency.

The Jets used the franchise tag on Wilkerson in 2016 but then, like with Harris, were able to lock him up long-term, signing Wilkerson to a five-year contract.

Things started to fall apart in 2017. Wilkerson was late to a team meeting and was benched for the team’s Week 15 game against the Saints, which led to people finding out Wilkerson had a history of violating team rules. The Jets released Wilkerson in February 2018. He would play one more season in the league with the Packers before an ankle injury ended his year in Week 3.

Wilkerson had a couple more run-ins with legal issues since that season including a pair of DWIs in 2019 and 2020 and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia in 2020.

S Marcus Maye (franchise tag 2021)

The most recent Jets player to be tagged was Marcus Maye in 2021. The former second-round pick showed some promise but also had some injury issues, including an injury-plagued 2018 season that limited him to just six games due to multiple injuries.

He did play in all 16 games in the other three seasons during his rookie contract, helping lead to the Jets using the franchise tag on Maye in 2021.

Maye played under the tag that season. His season, unfortunately, ended in early November after suffering a torn Achilles in Week 9.

Maye signed with the Saints in free agency in 2022. He played in ten games and recorded 60 tackles.

Story originally appeared on Jets Wire