The deadline has come and gone for NFL teams to use the franchise tag on an impending free agent. Teams had until 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday March 5 to make that decision with the new league year set to begin on March 13. In all, six teams opted to tag a player. Each team will have the ability to sign those players to a new contract until July 15. Once that date passes, the player will play on a one-year deal at the amount stated by the CBA. Here's the rundown.
Robbie Gould, K, San Francisco 49ers
Let's start with the 49ers making sure that their standout kicker would remain in the Bay Area for at least 2019. It was a no-brainer after Gould was arguably the league's best kicker last season, making 33-of-34 field goal attempts. Both John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan said that they're hopeful to reach a multi-year extension with Gould before it's all said and done.
Jadeveon Clowney, OLB/DE, Houston Texans
You'll notice a trend among the next five players. Each guy specializes in pressuring the quarterback. The fact that they were all tagged is unsurprising and only reinforces the reality that top-tier pass rushers will rarely make it to the open market. Clowney posted nine sacks in 14 games last season, bringing his career total to 29 sacks. He's yet to have a monster season, but his ceiling remains far too high to let walk away.
DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have now tagged Lawrence in back-to-back seasons. He posted his second straight campaign with double-digit sacks, racking up 10.5 in 2018. Dallas is sure to try and lock Lawrence up before July's negotiation deadline. At just 26 years old, Lawrence is squarely in his prime.
Grady Jarrett, DL, Atlanta Falcons
Jarrett generated six sacks last year as a standout interior pass rusher on Atlanta's defensive line. For a team thin on pass rushers as is, they couldn't risk Jarrett walking away in free agency.
Frank Clark, DE, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle's 2015 second-round pick broke out in 2018 with a career high 13 sacks. Clark firmly established himself as the team's leader along the defensive line, and nobody expected him to hit the open market.
Dee Ford, OLB/DE, Kansas City Chiefs
Like Clark, Ford also enjoyed a breakout 2018 campaign with 13 sacks. It was his second season with double digit sacks as he served as the star on Kansas City's defense. Although Ford has been tagged, there has been some discussion that the Chiefs might be willing to trade him if the price is right. The thought is that Ford is a better fit in a 3-4 defense, and Kansas City will be transitioning to a 4-3 scheme in 2019.