5 NFL Players That Deserve The Franchise Tag in 2017
The 2017 NFL season has officially begun, but there is certainly still a long way to go. It is now time for all 32 teams to begin planning their off-season and to start getting ready for a wild free agency period.
Each NFL team has until March 1st to place a franchise tag on one of their free agents. The franchise tag is a risky decision for some teams but it guarantees a big name won't leave for another team. For players, the franchise tag is not a contract to celebrate. Over the years players have been tagged and then have refused to sign the contract tender to play for the upcoming season until they are given the contract that they believe they deserve.
The franchise tag is considered a one-year deal to prove you are worthy of a big boy contract, so here are five upcoming free agents who definitely deserve the nod.
1. Kirk Cousins
The NFL has yet to decide what kind of career Kirk Cousins has had/is going to have. When he was drafted by the Redskins in 2012, they never considered him to be more than RG3's backup and now after placing him on the franchise tag last season they need to decide whats next.
Cousins is the best free agent QB available and if the Redskins don't make a move another team might be dumb enough to pay average Kirk Cousins millions of dollars. The Redskins need to place him on the tag for another season until they are certain he is the QB of the future.
2. Eddie Lacy
What happened to Eddie Lacy?? Former 2nd round pick went from a Pro Bowler in 2013 to being considered too fat to run over the last two seasons. Last year Eddie Lacy tried to prove he was committed to the Green Bay Packers and did the P90X workout and diet plan to lose weight and become the athlete he once was at Alabama. Then after a "slow" start to the season the Packers placed Lacy on Injured Reserve because of the injuries he's been dealing with his whole career.
If the Packers wanted to stay committed to Lacy like he tried to stay committed to them, they should Franchise Tag him and let him prove what kind of player he is when healthy. If not it looks like Fat Eddies time in the NFL is just about done.
3. Alshon Jeffrey
Don't be Brandon Marshall. That is what all Chicago Bear fans are hoping right now waiting to hear what the decision on Alshon Jeffrey will be. Coming off playing on the franchise tag last season the Bears have the same issue the Redskins have with Kirk Cousins. Jeffrey did not live up to the elite expectations we all thought he would this season but has been a budding star in the NFL for a few years now.
There is clearly no talent on the Bears roster at the moment so it would be hard to persuade him to come back to play for cheap especially if Jay Cutler is behind center. John Fox needs to stamp the franchise tag on him once again and let him prove he's an elite WR in this league.
4. Terrelle Pryor
One of the most interesting men in football is set to become a free agent this off-season and if the Cleveland Browns want to finally make a smart football decision they need to lock this guy up. The only problem is that a rising star like Terrell Pryor may not want to play in Cleveland.
Pryor and the rest of the NFL know that if he really wants to become a star in this league he needs to get out of Cleveland and needs to join a winning roster. The Browns should not let this guy leave town. Give him the franchise tag and let him see if he can bring some excitement to Cleveland football.
5. Ryan Fitzpatrick/Geno Smith
Last season was a rough one for New York Jets fans and they should expect another tough season ahead. Both Fitz and Geno have had ups and downs in New York and any fan knows they are not the long term answer at QB. Only issue is the Jets have two "eh" quarterbacks on their roster and the free agent and draft class for the QB position is very weak.
The Jets should assign the franchise tag to either of these quarterbacks and wait out another season until they find the right guy to lead the New York Jets. So would you rather have another 15+ interception season with Fitz or the embarrassment of Geno Smith being your starting quarterback.
Johnny Manziel is always available!
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