There is no doubt the Detroit Lions have an interest in retaining some of their players who are set to become free agents. Starting today, NFL teams have the option of using the franchise tag to make sure they retain one player they most desire to keep. Of course, that is an expensive proposition.
The franchise tag will guarantee a player a one-year deal with the salary determined by the player’s position:
- Quarterback: $16,086,000
- Defensive End: $12,475,000
- Wide Receiver: $11,539,000
- Cornerback: $11,256,000
- Offensive Linemen: $11,126,000
- Linebacker: $10,895,000
- Defensive Tackle: $9,182,000
- Running Back: $9,074,000
- Safety: $8,021,000
- Tight End: $6,709,000
- Kicker: $3,383,000
The Lions don’t currently have the cap space to absorb a franchise tag number, not that they have a player deserving of it anyway. With Joique Bell a restricted free agent, Willie Young is the team’s most important free-agent-to-be. The Lions surely want him back but not at nearly $12.5 million.
The Lions intentions with tight end Brandon Pettigrew aren’t clear at this point but using the franchise tag on him would result in a 2014 cap hit double what Pettigrew accounted for in 2013, the final year of his rookie deal.
The franchise tag deadline is 3 p.m. on March 4.