Do the Lions have any franchise tag candidates in 2023?

Tuesday is a significant day on the NFL calendar. No, it’s not because of Mardi Gras, either.

February 21st is the first opportunity for teams to use the franchise tag or transition tag on pending free agent players. For some teams, that’s a very important item of business.

For the Detroit Lions, not so much…

Detroit has no legitimate candidates to tag with either the franchise or transition designation. It would be nice to keep wide receiver DJ Chark, but even the transition tag value for a WR, $17.9 million, is wildly above Chark’s expected open market value. The same is true for the other top Lions free agents, a group that includes RB Jamaal Williams, LB Alex Anzalone and OL Evan Brown.

Brown, the Lions’ starting right guard in 2022, has perhaps the best case. The franchise tag value for offensive linemen is $18.2 million, while the transition tag is a little lower at $16.7 million. The NFL doesn’t differentiate between tackles, guards or centers in the tag values.

Using the transition tag would commit the Lions to paying Brown $16.7 million for a one-year, fully-guaranteed contract, counting that full amount against the 2023 salary cap. But it would not prevent Brown from negotiations with other teams, and if he chose to sign with another team, the Lions would not get any compensation.

The Lions technically have until March 7th to make final decisions on using the tags. Do not expect GM Brad Holmes to have any use for either the franchise or transition tags in 2023.


Which players have the Lions franchise tagged in the past?

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire