NFL teams are making decisions on franchise tags, and with it is coming a bevy of news. Some of the obvious franchise candidates are getting tagged, including Jadeveon Clowney, Dee Ford, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Frank Clark. However, there are some notable players not getting tagged, as well as some other players on the market. It’s making for a busy Monday
No franchise tag
Teams have until 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday to use their franchise or transition tags, but it sounds like a few big name players will hit the open market when free agency opens next week. New York Giants safety Landon Collins, Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr, and Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley all expected to avoid the franchise tag.
Collins can play deep but is much better as an in-the-box thumper. The 49ers have Jaquiski Tartt and Marcell Harris competing for that role. Collins would be an upgrade, but does it make sense to spend money there, when they already have some intriguing options and more pressing needs elsewhere?
Barr and Mosley could both be on the 49ers radar to pair with Fred Warner. The 49ers were hoping to have Reuben Foster paired with Warner for the foreseeable future, but that didn’t happen. Malcolm Smith remains on the roster, but he could be on the outs if the 49ers get aggressive at the position in free agency.
Justin Houston is likely on the move
The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to franchise Dee Ford, and in turn move on from Houston. He’s a pricey veteran and the team has been searching for a trade partner. Reports on Monday said they were prepared to release him, but that would appear to be on hold for the time being. My guess is they re prepared to release him but are hoping to find a trade partner to get any kind of compensation.
The 49ers need help in the pass rush, and I would certainly be down for pairing Houston with a Nick Bosa or Josh Allen. But I also would strongly prefer this happen via free agency rather than a trade given that Houston is due $15.25 million next year and $17 million in 2020. The salaries are not guaranteed, so that is something to keep in mind in the short term. If you think a deal can be done for a late day three pick, maybe it’s worth it to keep him off the open market.