Lions can apply the franchise tag starting this week

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Jeff Risdon
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NFL teams can begin applying the franchise and transition tags this week. The period begins on Tuesday, Feb. 23rd and runs through the deadline on March 9th.

The Lions have a couple of candidates for the franchise tag in wide receiver Kenny Golladay and defensive end Romeo Okwara. Using the tag on either pending free agent is something that has likely caused a lot of internal debate with the new management regime, headed by GM Brad Holmes.

Golladay is the more likely recipient of any tagging. The exact figure applied to the franchise tag for each position has yet to be determined, but the wide receiver value figures to be right around $15.5 million. Defensive end projects to be a little higher but still under $16 million for the one year.

Golladay and the Lions worked on an extension last offseason but could not come to an agreement. His value has since dipped, thanks to a season where the 27-year-old missed 11 games due to various injuries and didn’t play as well when he was on the field as he had in 2018-2019. Golladay does hold some leverage thanks to the prior regime’s decision to have the contracts of the top four wide receivers all expiring at the same time. He is one of the top wide receivers on the free agent market — if the Lions let him get there.

The franchise tag has increasingly become a one-year bandage for teams. Only two of the 14 players tagged in 2020 signed long-term deals with the teams who tagged them.