By: Caleb Luketic
Monday at 4 PM was the NFL’s franchise tag deadline, and some top potential free agents got the tag. However there are a few that will command big money that were not tagged by their teams and will test the free agent market.
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant was franchise tagged by the Dallas Cowboys Monday. Jerry Jones has said that he doesn’t want to let Bryant go, and i can see why he doesn’t want to get rid of him. Bryant was one of the top receivers this past season and led the league in touchdowns with 16. Getting a long term deal done with Bryant will be difficult but worth it for Dallas.
Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs
Justin Houston led the NFL in sacks with 22, and was the center piece of that Chiefs front 7. Houston was expected to be franchised tagged because of how fantastic of a season he had. He is one of the best defensive players in the NFL, and he will be the key to solidify the Chiefs defense.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
The main priority of the Broncos was to keep Demaryius Thomas, and the Broncos were able to do just that. Thomas has been Manning’s main target over the past 3 seasons due to his amazing after-the-catch abilities. Thomas is a great receiver who is quick and can bring in any ball that Manning throws. Thomas will once again be Manning’s main man coming into what will most likely be Manning’s final season.
Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants
Jason Pierre-Paul has been the Giants most consistent player over the past 3 or 4 seasons. He is a monster on the defensive line, and is a quarterback sacking machine. Pierre-Paul was going to find big money if he wasn’t tagged, but will find a large contract next season whether its in New York or not.
Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions
Ndamukong Suh will be the highest paid player in NFL history sometime this offseason because he leads the NFL in sacks by a defensive end since 2010. However, Suh has played extremely dirty in the past by stomping on players and trying to hurt other players. Whoever Suh signs with will get a premiere defensive end, but will also have their hands full with his on field antics.
Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Julius Thomas was not given the franchise tag in Denver because the other Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, received the tag. Julius Thomas will be the top tight end this free agency because Miami gave Charles Clay the transition tag, so Thomas will be able to shop around to see what teams are offering. Thomas has been a key red zone threat for Denver the past 3 seasons, but don’t be surprised when Thomas doesn’t come back to Denver.
DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray is the top running back in free agency, but will he return to Dallas? I think that he will end up back in Dallas because Jerry Jones wants a championship, and you need a solid running game to have a good offense. Murray will get paid this season, but don’t be surprised if Murray isn’t signed before next week when the new NFL season officially begins. I think that Murray will test the market before returning back to Dallas for next season.