Franchise-tag predictions for all 32 teams

On Tuesday, NFL teams can begin placing the franchise tag on their most important free agent. They have until 4 p.m. ET on March 1 to designate a franchise player. For more on how franchise tags work, check out this story by Kevin Seifert.

Below, NFL Nation reporters predict which teams will use the franchise tag and which players are most likely to be tagged.


Buffalo Bills: The most likely candidate is 26-year-old left tackle Cordy Glenn. The Bills don't have a player ready to replace Glenn if he signs elsewhere, so the team has made re-signing him a top priority. If the two sides can't reach a long-term deal, the franchise tag should remain a fall-back option. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins will not use the franchise tag. The team is tight on the projected salary cap and must make significant roster cuts before free agency begins. Miami also doesn't have strong free-agent candidates on which to use the franchise tag. Defensive end Olivier Vernon and running back Lamar Miller are the team's top free agents, but neither player expects to get tagged. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: Unlike last season, when the Patriots used the tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski before striking a long-term deal, there is no one among the team's free-agent class who comes close to warranting that consideration. Essentially, the team's tagged players are 2012 first-round draft picks Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower, who currently have high cap numbers as part of the fifth-year options on their rookie deals. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: It would be a major upset if defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson doesn't get the franchise tag. Wilkerson, only 26, would be one of the top unrestricted free agents if he's allowed to hit the open market. But that won't happen. The front office considers him a major asset, and it will protect that asset by tagging him. Don't be surprised, however, if they explore a tag-and-trade scenario. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens: All expectations are that kicker Justin Tucker will get the franchise tag if the Ravens can't reach a long-term deal with him before March 1. Baltimore isn't going to let the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history walk in free agency. Plus, tags on kickers and punters are a projected $4.5 million, which is easily the cheapest among all positions. The tag is typically a way to extend negotiations for Baltimore. The Ravens have used the franchise tag on five players in the past, and they have ended up signing long-term deals with the past four. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals are unlikely to use the franchise tag this year since they don't have the type of free agents that would warrant such a lucrative one-year deal. Many of the Bengals' 15 free agents are valued veterans who likely will draw short-term deals as they begin signing the final contract or two of their careers. Others, like 2012 draftees Marvin Jones and George Iloka, simply haven't had the production in recent years to warrant the type of money they would be handed as the franchise player. (There was a thought before A.J. Green agreed to his long-term deal last preseason that he would have been a legitimate candidate for a franchise tag had he still been looking for a new contract this offseason.) -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: The Browns have no player worthy of the franchise tag. The team's dearth of overall top-level talent and the fact that the Browns moved some salary cap from this year to next makes using the tag illogical. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: The franchise tag isn't even a mild consideration for the Steelers, whose free-agency pool is low on star power. The team will value role-playing free agents such as cornerback William Gay and guard Ramon Foster, but these veterans can return on two- or three-year contracts at reasonable money. The Steelers rarely use the franchise tag, opting to sign their star players before they hit the open market. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: The Texans have some free agents they should prioritize, but I don't believe they will feel pressed to use the tag on any of them. The Texans would only use the franchise tag as a last resort, and they don't use it often. The last time they used it was in 2008, when they tagged cornerback Dunta Robinson. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: It's highly unlikely that the Colts will use the franchise tag on any of their free agents, because they don't have any marquee players they can't afford to lose. Kicker Adam Vinatieri, tight end Coby Fleener and linebacker Jerrell Freeman are the Colts' main free agents. All three are replaceable. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars have 11 impending free agents, and the best of them are backup quarterback Chad Henne and tight end Marcedes Lewis, so the team isn't going to use the franchise tag. The biggest decision facing the Jaguars regarding one of their own players is whether or not to pick up the fifth-year option on left tackle Luke Joeckel. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: The Titans' two best free agents-to-be are not franchise-tag caliber. Al Woods played well at nose tackle in his second year in the Titans' system. Tight end Craig Stevens stayed healthy and is a quality blocker who can make some catches. But the Titans are not in a situation where they need the tag's help. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: Linebacker Von Miller will almost certainly get the franchise tag. The Broncos want to keep their Super Bowl MVP, who is still an ascending player and coming into his own, both in the locker room and on the defense. The Broncos will work toward a long-term deal that will likely make Miller the highest-paid defensive player in the league; and to get the extra time they need to do that, they will use the franchise tag on him. The previous three players the Broncos used the franchise tag on (Matt Prater, Ryan Clady and Demaryius Thomas) all got long-term deals before training camp opened. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: Safety Eric Berry is the obvious candidate. The Chiefs have been working toward securing a long-term contract with Berry before the deadline to issue the franchise tag. Naming him as the franchise player would buy the sides more time to agree on a new contract. If a new contract is in place by then, the Chiefs probably won't name a franchise player, though it would make a lot of sense for them to retain young defensive lineman Jaye Howard, who is a free agent. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: At about $41 million under the league's spending minimum, the Raiders need to be big spenders this offseason. What better way than to slap a franchise tag on left tackle Donald Penn? Last year's franchise number for an offensive lineman was just over $12.9 million and, with a bigger salary cap, is expected to be as much as $500,000 higher. Penn has been a durable blind-side protector for quarterback Derek Carr. -- Paul Gutierrez

San Diego Chargers: The Chargers do not have a player worth using the franchise tag on in free agency. Safety Eric Weddle will be allowed to hit the free-agent market. And although still productive, tight end Antonio Gates, who turns 36 this summer, is at the end of his career. Young tight end Ladarius Green could find a market in free agency, but he has been injured and too inconsistent to command the use of the franchise tag. -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: Unlike last year, when the Cowboys used the franchise tag on wide receiver Dez Bryant, they don't have a player worth using the tag on this year. Defensive end Greg Hardy had it written into the deal he signed last offseason that the Cowboys could not use the tag on him in 2016. Since he had just six sacks in 12 games last season, the Cowboys would not have put such a big financial claim into Hardy anyway. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: I do not expect the Giants to use their franchise tag. None of their free agents are worth the one-year price at this point. They can't pay defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul $15 million when they don't know the condition of his hand. They can't pay cornerback Prince Amukamara $14 million. If they use it at all, my guess is it would be to keep kicker Josh Brown off the market if they've decided to re-sign him and don't have a deal done by the deadline. But more than likely, they won't use it. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles have an unhappy history with the franchise tag, twice applying it to players (linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and defensive tackle Corey Simon) and then rescinding it and losing the players in free agency. The only player who could cause the team to use the tag this year is quarterback Sam Bradford -- only if the Eagles decide they aren't ready to commit to a long-term deal. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: Quarterback Kirk Cousins is the only Redskins player worthy of the franchise tag. It would not be surprising to see the Redskins use it on him, but the team will continue to try to hammer out a long-term deal. The two sides have been talking for a few weeks, though they weren't close at the beginning of the talks. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: In the absence of a long-term deal, receiver Alshon Jeffery is the obvious choice to receive the franchise tag. Chicago simply can't afford to let him walk away. Despite battling injuries throughout 2015 -- he played in only nine games -- Jeffery still caught 54 passes for 807 yards and four touchdowns. A former Pro Bowl selection, Jeffery is only the fourth player in team history to compile consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Plus, he's only 25 years old. This one is a no-brainer. The Bears prefer to sign players to multiyear deals for salary-cap purposes, but expect the organization to use the franchise tag to keep Jeffery, if necessary. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: The Lions are unlikely to use the franchise tag on any free agents this offseason. Most of the players who have expiring contracts can either be signed for less or have expressed a desire to return to Detroit, so there's no need for the Lions to use it. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers: The only possible candidate for the franchise tag is kicker Mason Crosby, but general manager Ted Thompson probably won't use it. He has used the franchise tag only twice -- in 2008 on Corey Williams, who he then traded to the Browns; and in 2010 on Ryan Pickett, who eventually agreed on a long-term deal. The Packers should be able to get a deal done with Crosby without using the tag. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings' most prominent free agents are veterans such as 33-year-old Chad Greenway and 37-year-old Terence Newman, making it a virtual certainty they won't use the franchise tag. They exercised fifth-year options on left tackle Matt Kalil and safety Harrison Smith, and they already finished extensions with wide receiver Jarius Wright and kicker Blair Walsh, so most of the team's would-be free agents from the 2012 draft class are locked up. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: I don't anticipate the Falcons using the franchise tag because none of their 12 unrestricted free agents warrants it. Maybe it's something that could come into play after the 2017 season, when running back Devonta Freeman's contract is up -- if Freeman continues to ascend. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: If the Panthers can't reach a long-term deal with cornerback Josh Norman, they likely will use the franchise tag on him. General manager Dave Gettleman admitted that was an option in his season-ending interview. The tag would cost the Panthers between $13 million and $14 million. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: The Saints won't use their franchise tag. The one good thing about their tight salary-cap situation is that they don't have any premier free agents that will break the bank. Tight end Benjamin Watson, running back Tim Hightower and safety Rafael Bush could be among their top priorities to re-sign. They might actually have to spend more to keep restricted free agents like running back Khiry Robinson and guard Tim Lelito. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs are trying to work out a deal with running back Doug Martin, who resurrected his career by finishing No. 2 in the NFL in rushing in 2015 with 1,402 yards, but they could use the franchise tag on him if they can't reach a long-term agreement. Martin, quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Mike Evans give the Bucs' offense a solid core of young players around which new coach Dirk Koetter can build. -- Mike DiRocco


Arizona Cardinals: I don't expect the Cardinals to use their franchise tag this season because, simply put, the team has no unrestricted free agents who are worth it. As coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim have shown, they can fill voids well during free agency or through the draft, and none of the irreplaceable stars are scheduled to be free agents this year. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams: The Rams are unlikely to use their franchise tag, but there is a possibility they could use the transition tag on one of their pending free-agent cornerbacks -- Janoris Jenkins or Trumaine Johnson. They want to keep both but might need to take steps to ensure that, at minimum, one of them remains a Ram and under team control. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: I can't really see the Niners slapping the franchise tag on anyone because, well, that's not their style. Still, nose tackle Ian Williams could be a candidate, and last year, the number for a tag on a defensive tackle was just over $11.1 million. Williams is coming off his best season as a pro -- he stayed healthy and played in 16 games for the first time after playing in a combined 15 games over his first four seasons -- so he is presumably someone the Niners would want to keep around. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: It's highly unlikely that the Seahawks use their franchise tag this year. Their top free agents are left tackle Russell Okung and linebacker Bruce Irvin. Both players are expected to test free agency and could end up signing elsewhere. From a financial perspective, it doesn't make sense for the Seahawks to use the tag on either guy. -- Sheil Kapadia