NFL franchise tag deadline winners, losers

Why no long-term deal for Cousins? (1:42)

The NFL Insiders crew weighs in on Washington placing an exclusive franchise tag on Kirk Cousins instead of offering the QB a hefty contract. (1:42)

Franchise tags have almost become too predictable.

Two weeks ago, the thought was seven or eight players would be franchised. Seven ended up getting the tag. The one surprise was Eric Berry getting a long-term deal done before he could get tagged again.

Let's take a look at the players and teams who left Wednesday's franchise tag deadline feeling like winners and losers.


Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins

While most NFL players detest the franchise tag, Cousins has profited from it. The Redskins didn't want to go higher than $15 million or $16 million per year on a long-term deal a year ago. Now that Cousins has been tagged in back-to-back years, he will have earned close to $44 million over the past two seasons. Even better, the high cost of a third franchise tag means he will almost certainly be a free agent next year -- unless he gets traded this year and is given a long-term contract -- giving him the chance to top $25 million a year on a new deal.

Pittsburgh Steelers