How much would it cost the Falcons to franchise tag Kaleb McGary?

Last offseason, the Atlanta Falcons decided not to pick up right tackle Kaleb McGary‘s fifth-year option. The former first-round pick turned in arguably the best season of his career in 2022, and now the team must either pay up or let him sign elsewhere.

McGary will become a free agent on March 16, unless the two sides come to an agreement. However, the Falcons still have the franchise tag at their disposal if they want to keep McGary in Atlanta through 2023.

The franchise tag is essentially a one-year deal that pays a player no less than the average of the five highest salaries at the player’s position over the last five years, or 120 percent of the player’s cap number from the prior year.

Tuesday is the first day teams can apply the tag, and the Falcons would have to pay McGary $18.24 million in order to retain him for another season.

So, with $56.5 million in cap space, tagging McGary would bring this total down to just $36.25 million. That’s about 32 percent of the current available cap space being given to a player who wasn’t in the team’s long-term plans one year ago.

However, allowing him to walk would make finding a new starting right tackle one of the highest priorities this offseason. Since the Falcons don’t have an option behind McGary on the roster, they’d need to find a cheaper option in the draft or free agency.


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Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire