Tagged in: franchise tag

Bengals A.J Green signs franchise tender

A.J. Green officially put ink to paper on Friday afternoon. 

The Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver signed the one-year franchise tag tender the team extended to him in March, the team stated. He will make about $18 million this campaign. 

Green wanted a multi-year extension but knew this day was coming all along. The Bengals thought it was best to place him under the franchise tag after the receiver sustained a season-ending left ankle injury on the first day of training camp in 2019. 

The veteran receiver has suffered lower-body injuries and missed substantial time in three of the last four years. But, the Bengals do believe Green is still capable of being a premier No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. The team is enthusiastic to see him back healthy this season with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow under center. 

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“A.J. is one of the best receivers in the NFL,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. “He’s an important part of our plans, and we’re thrilled to have him in the fold from Day 1. We’re looking forward to the impact of his talent and leadership on our offense this season.”

Coming into his 10th season, Green ranks second in team history in most receiving categories. 

Green is expected to report to Bengals training camp July 28. He and the team hope it won’t be his final training camp in a Bengals uniform. “From the day that he joined our organization nine years ago, A.J. Green has been an outstanding player and a class act,” Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn said in a statement.

“We are pleased that he will be part of the team this year, starting with the first practice. By signing, A.J. puts himself and the team in the best position to have a great season together, and we look forward to the opportunity at the end of the season to discuss keeping him here long-term. He has been an integral part of our team, and we expect this year that he will be the same impact player he has always been.”

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Derrick Henry, Titans reach agreement on 4-year deal

The Titans waited until the 11th hour, but they’ve secured their rushing king.

Tennessee agreed to terms with running back Derrick Henry on a four-year deal worth $50 million right before Wednesday’s deadline, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The team later confirmed it reached a long-term agreement with the RB.

Henry signed his franchise tag tender less than a month after the Titans formally placed it on him before the start of free agency, but that one-year contract that was arranged to pay him $10.3 million will become moot upon signing the new, multi-year deal.

“I want to stay with the Tennessee Titans,” Henry said, via the team website. “They are the ones that took a chance on me – 31 teams passed on me on the draft and they selected me. I have a lot of love for Tennessee. I have a lot of love for everyone in that organization.

“And we have grown from the time I got there. (In 2016) we just missed the playoffs, (in 2017) we got into the playoffs and went into the second round. This year we went to the AFC Championship. We have grown as an organization and as a team and I think that speaks volume for the direction we’re headed.”

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Henry rumbled to the league’s rushing title in the final week of the 2019 season, capping a 1,540-yard, 16-touchdown campaign with a dominant 211-yard outing in a playoff-clinching Week 17 victory over Houston.

He proved his worth in the postseason, putting Tennessee’s offense on his back to help the Titans to two stunning playoff victories.

Henry rushed 64 times for 377 yards and one touchdown in Tennessee’s upset victory over New England and Baltimore before coming back to earth in an AFC Championship Game loss to Kansas City.

Henry’s 69-yard outing in the conference title game wasn’t his fault, but a result of a Titans offense trying to keep pace with the Chiefs’ explosive group and being forced to turn away from the run. It definitely wasn’t indicative of his value; without Henry, the Titans simply do not reach the doorstep of the Super Bowl.

As of July 2020, it is wise for the Titans to do what they must to keep Henry, the strongest part of their offense for almost the entirety of his career — even if it took Tennessee two years to realize it.

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Dak Prescott plans to sign franchise tag by Monday

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott plans to sign his $31.4 million exclusive franchise tender by Monday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The two sides still have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. The Cowboys had placed the franchise tag on Prescott on March 18.

By signing his franchise tender, Prescott will be contractually forced to report to training camp on time, whether or not he and the Cowboys can figure out a long-term deal.

Prescott’s decision to sign the franchise tender is not an indication that a long-term agreement is close, league sources told ESPN’s Ed Werder.  The fact that Prescott will be one of the highest-paid players in the NFL — and the potential his franchise tag increases by a obligatory 20% next season to $37.7 million with a flat or lower cap in 2021 — is incentive for Dallas to secure a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.

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This offseason, the Cowboys made a long-term offer to Prescott that would put him among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, ESPN’s Todd Archer previously reported.  Seattle’s Russell Wilson is the highest paid at $35 million per campaign, followed by Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger at $34 million.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones have repeatedly expressed their belief that Prescott is the team’s quarterback of the future and capable of leading the franchise back to a Super Bowl.

Prescott, who turns 27 on July 29, has said on multiple instances that he never wanted to leave the Cowboys.

Prescott completed 388 of 596 passes for 4,902 yards and 30 touchdown passes last season. Despite career highs in yardage and touchdowns, Prescott had his worst record as a starter (8-8) as the Cowboys missed the playoffs. His growth as a passer, however, was obvious as the Cowboys had two 1,000-yard receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

In his four seasons, Prescott ranks among the top five quarterbacks in victories (40), passing touchdowns (97), rushing TDs (21) and Total QBR (68), becoming one of the NFL’s biggest bargains. He earned $4 million in salary and signing bonus the past four seasons.

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Jaguars to use franchise tag on DE Yannick Ngakoue

The Jacksonville Jaguars kept one of the most consistent pass-rushers in the league on their defensive front Monday when they reportedly used the franchise tag on Yannick Ngakoue.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Jaguars plan to use the tag but could trade Ngakoue at a later date. Ngakoue tweeted he informed the team he does not plan to sign a long-term contract. Schefter added the “tag for DEs carries an approximate salary of $19.3 million.”

Ngakoue, who turns 25 on March 31, wanted a new deal before last season, but negotiations broke down and he skipped most of OTAs as well as the mandatory minicamp.

The Jaguars reportedly offered a deal that averaged $19 million annually while Ngakoue’s camp was looking for something similar to the $22 million that quarterback Nick Foles signed for.

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He held out of the first 11 days of training camp and was fined $528,650, which included $88,650 for skipping the three-day minicamp in June. Ngakoue made $2.02 million last campaign.

“The Jaguars are aware I no longer have interest in signing a long term contract in Jacksonville. Duval, I love you and gave you guys everything I got. I’m thankful for the journey and look forward to continuing my career elsewhere,” Ngakoue tweeted.

Ngakoue played the first four seasons of his career in Jacksonville.

“But I would say that’s priority No. 1 to make sure he comes back to Jacksonville and that he’s a Jacksonville Jaguar,” general manager David Caldwell previously told reporters. “Hopefully, we can get that done where he’s here for a long period of time.”

Ngakoue was a 2017 Pro Bowler with 12 sacks, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries and finished with at least eight sacks in each of his first four seasons since the Jaguars selected in the third round in 2016.

This past season, he forced four fumbles to go with his eight sacks, an interception and a defensive touchdown. Ngakoue will be 25 years old during the 2020 season.

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