With the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term contracts looming on Friday, July 15 at 1 p.m. ET, and four players still seeking contract extensions, the NFL’s typically quietest summer days could be roused.
Friday’s report by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo indicated that Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates, Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown, Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki, and Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz are all seeking long-term contracts, but none appear imminent.
Brown and Schultz are surrounded by the most hope, whilst Bates’ situation appears to be the most challenging.
Brown, whom the Kansas City Chiefs acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens prior to last season, has yet to sign his franchise tag, and there have been no recent negotiations, but Garafolo anticipates that a long-term deal will be reached early next week. On the franchise tag, Brown would be due $16.6 million in 2022, but the Chiefs left tackle wants to be paid in the vicinity of $22-$23 million per season, which ranks among the highest at his position.
Schultz and Gesicki have signed their 2022 contracts, which pay each player $10.9 million.
Garafolo anticipates that Schultz and the Cowboys will engage in more negotiations in the hopes of securing a long-term agreement.
According to Garafolo, Gesicki is likely to play on the franchise tag in Miami, as he and the Dolphins have not “actually engaged in contract negotiations.”
A positive conclusion with the Bengals is unlikely for Bates at this time.
Garafolo does not foresee Bates reporting to Bengals training camp on July 26 absent a long-term contract, which he does not foresee materializing.
Bates has not yet signed his franchise tag, which would pay him $12.9 million in 2022. Bates, who earned $2.43 million in 2021 while helping the Bengals reach the Super Bowl, would receive a hefty bump, but it would pale in contrast to Minkah Fitzpatrick, who just signed a deal with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers that gives him the league’s highest annual salary. Garafolo does not see the Bengals pursuing Bates in that per-year area code.
In 2022, the franchise tag was applied to eight total players. Davante Adams was moved from the Green Bay Packers to the Las Vegas Raiders, who signed him to a mega-extension. Cam Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and David Njoku of the Cleveland Browns also signed extensions.
In the penultimate week before the July 15 deadline, the fates of the final four tagged players will be decided.