2023 NFL Franchise Tag Deadline Predictions: Four Players Face Uphill Battles

The clock is ticking for the four remaining franchise-tagged players to strike multiyear contract commitments from their respective teams before Monday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.

Without new deals, tight end Evan Engram and running backs Saquon Barkley,

Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard would have to play on one-year franchise tags and wouldn’t be allowed to negotiate contract extensions until after the 2023 season.

From this group, only Pollard has signed his franchise-tagged contract, but he’s still allowed to negotiate a long-term contract before Monday’s deadline.

Six players were initially tagged in March, but quarterback Lamar Jackson and defensive tackle Daron Payne signed lucrative extensions this offseason.

A few more players could possibly ditch the franchise tag ahead of Monday’s deadline, but it won’t be easy for the running backs.

We examined the four franchise-tagged players’ situations and made predictions for whether they’ll get an extension, hold in or practice and play on the one-year tag.

Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants Prediction: Extension

Evan Engram, TE, Jaguars Prediction: Extension

Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders Prediction: Hold In

Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys Prediction: Plays on the tag

Pollard didn’t waste time signing his one-year, $10 million franchise-tagged contract, putting pen to paper in March.

It was a smart move for Pollard to sign, because it’s guaranteed money and he’s coming off ankle surgery.

Also, the eight-figure salary for the 2019 fourth-round pick is drastically more than his entire rookie contract: four years, $3.18 million.

But Pollard does have some leverage and could see a multiyear contract extension before Monday’s deadline.

For starters, a new contract for Pollard would create more cap space this year to add another veteran or two (Ezekiel Elliott reunion?),

and a smaller cap hit would be beneficial down the line with the Cowboys’ needing to pay Micah Parsons, CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs. Also, Dak Prescott is due for another extension.


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