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Three Players that I Hope Don't Get the Franchise Tag.

The Window to franchise tag players is officially open. There's a handful of players that get the tag every year. Some players get tagged so their teams have more time to work out a long-term deal with the player. Some players get tagged, so their teams have more time to work out a trade package with another team for that player. A player sometimes holds out like Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs(who missed the season opener), or in extreme cases, like Leveon Bell, who sat out the whole season a few years ago. If players sign the contract, they get a fully guaranteed one-year deal but risk getting injured. The Franchise Tag is one of the most polarizing aspects of NFL contracts, and it sometimes causes quite a bit of drama in the offseason.

Here are three players I hope don't get the tag, but wouldn't I be surprised if they did.

Tee Higgins

Ever since Cincinnati drafted him in the second round of the 2020 draft, he has been a model of consistency. He's been quietly been a top 5 no 2. wide receiver in the game. I want to see if Higgins is a true number 1, though. Before Jamar Chase got there, Higgins was looking like a solid number 1 in his rookie year. He racked up 908 yards and six touchdowns in his rookie year. Then Jamar Chase was drafted, and Tee Higgins became one of the best No. 2 in the game.

The reason I don't think they will let him walk is he's been with Joe Burrow since the beginning. This season is the last season before Joe Burrow's new extension gets stressful against the cap. That and Jamar Chase will get his extension either this offseason or the next offseason. He's going to be 25 million per year, minimum. It's going to get expensive for the Bengals soon. has Tee Higgins' market value at 18.6 million per year. I think the floor of his contract is 20 million. Chris Godwin of Tampa Bay and Mike Williams of the Chargers both got 20 million, and Tee Higgins has been just as good as those guys. I have Tee Higgins as a better option than Mike Williams. This deal isn't getting done for less. Do you pay 45 million per year for two players who play the same position? Cincinnati has a lot of cap space this year, though.

Do you go all in or build up with draft picks and spread the money around? Barring a tag and trade scenario, Tee is probably staying in Cincinnati, though. It's one of the tougher decisions the 2024 offseason offers. Will they cut him loose next season? Maybe.

I hope they...

Let TEE HIGGINS FLY CINCINNATI! Let us see if he's a true number one.

Brian Burns

Brian Burns is an absolute monster. He has been a model of consistency since entering the league. He's never had lower than 7.5 sacks in a year(his rookie season). He's a premiere pass rusher who doesn't get his flowers because he plays for the dumpster fire that is the Carolina Panthers right now. The last couple of front offices were terrible for Carolina. Frank Reich lasted about as long as Urban Meyer in Jacksonville.

Not only that, but Carolina doesn't have a lot of talent outside of Brian Burns. Jaycee Horn is solid when he's on the field, and Derrick Brown is another overshadowed player. They traded away this year's first-round pick for their franchise QB Bryce Young. Carolina made probably the biggest draft miss in not taking CJ Stroud since the Bears took Mitchell Trubiskey over Patrick Mahomes, but what's done is done. This team has so many problems that they're so far from competing. They need an entire offense. The best thing about the Panthers is that they play in the NFC South. They unintendedly traded away the NO. 1 overall pick. OUCH!

So, I think they should trade Brian Burns for more assets. I don't think they will since they turned down a reported trade of two first-round picks from the Rams a couple of years ago. Maybe that was just one of the garbage front office's mistakes. That, along with Brian Burns, is one of the few superstars they have on a defense that wasn't terrible but not good enough to carry the offense.

I would like to see Brian Burns on a GOOD team and see him get the flowers he deserves because I love his game. Brian Burns is a monster. If the Panthers decide to keep him, they better...

Austin Ekeler

This is my dark horse candidate. The Chargers are in the hole regarding the salary cap. The reason I think they might make it work is because of where he will probably go if they do. If they don't, he will go to the soon to 3-peat CHIEFS! Everybody has the Chiefs going after Mike Evans or Tee Higgins if they are available. I don't think either of them is going anywhere, at least not this season. I think they will go after a TE like Hunter Henry, a WR like Curtis Samuel or Tyler Boyd, and draft another receiver.

I think it will be a great move for the Chiefs for a couple of reasons. First, the Chiefs will need running backs to complement Pacheco. Clyde Edwards-Hellaire will be a free agent and hasn't lived up to a re-signing and Jerrick McKinnon has a free agent who dealt with a plethora of injuries this season. Also, Mckinnion might retire because he will be 32. 32 is like being 108 in running back years. Ekeler has had injuries, but he's only 28, so he has more in the tank than Mckinnion.

Second, Ekeler is Andy Reid's dream RB. A guy that is just as good, if not better, catching the ball out of the backfield than he is running it. This will be the most unstoppable offensive backfield in the entire NFL if this comes to fruition. Pacheco and Ekeler with Patrick Mahomes under center. Good luck.

It should be interesting to see what Harbaugh does with the Chargers this offseason. He already has a mountain of tough decisions to make with the squad he has inherited. It's a smart move to move on from Ekeler and try to keep some of the other players that have high cap hits, like Khalil Mack and Derwin James, but if he doesn't retain Ekeler's services, it might come back to bite him twice next year.

Will it be a good move for the team to cut ties and spend the money elsewhere, or a good move to keep him just to hinder the Chiefs? Time will tell. If Harbaugh does tag Ekeler, the Chiefs will be the reason why.

Come To KC Austin!

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