NFL free agency 2022: Possible franchise tag players for every team as window opens to retain key players

NFL free agency doesn’t start for a few weeks, yet teams are about to get a head start on their salary cap situation for 2022 and building their roster this offseason. Tuesday was the start for teams to decide whether to place the franchise tag or transition tag on any one of their players for the 2022 season, creating some cap maneuvering around the league. 

Some teams will use the franchise tag right away in the hopes of negotiating a long-term extension with that player in the weeks leading up to free agency. Other teams will wait to the very last minute to decide if any unrestricted free agent is worth the franchise tag, or some teams won’t even use the tag at all. 

Ten players received the franchise tag last season, meaning 31.3% of the league applied the tag on their pending free agents. Whether a long-term extension will be settled with that player will be processed in due time, yet teams will maneuver to keep their key players on the roster for 2022 and beyond. 

Per CBS Sports contributor and former NFL agent Joel Corry, here’s the projected salary for each position for each player that is franchise tagged in 2022 (projections assume salary cap is $208.2 million):

Position

Projected

Quarterback

$29,703,000

Linebacker

$18,702,000

Wide receiver

$18,419,000

Defensive end

$17,859,000

Defensive tackle

$17,396,000

Cornerback

$17,287,000

Offensive line

$16,662,000

Safety

$12,911,000

Tight end

$10,931,000

Running back

$9,570,000

Kicker/punter

$5,220,000

Which players are franchise tag candidates for every team over the next few weeks? Let’s take a look at the unrestricted free agent for each team that could have a franchise tag placed upon them over the next few weeks (no matter the team’s salary cap situation). 

Note: Cap space listed is from our CBS Sports free agent primer. 

Potential franchise tag player: Zach Ertz (TE)

The Cardinals have a few candidates they could use the franchise tag on, but Ertz…

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