NFL franchise tag tracker: See all the players who are staying put
The NFL never sleeps, and Monday's 4 p.m. ET deadline to franchise tag players is driving some important decisions.
Five players were given the non-exclusive franchise tag, which means they will earn the average top five salaries at their respective positions. While the player is still available to negotiate with other teams when the new league year begins, the original team has the opportunity to match the deal. If the original team chooses to not match the deal, they will receive two first-round picks.
Lions: Detroit announced it will not tag defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who will command a pretty penny on the free-agent market if he can't reach a deal with the Lions by Tuesday. Potential suitors include the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears. Suh's next deal has been projected to break J.J. Watt's nine-digit, record-breaking contract.
Chiefs: In an expected move, Kansas City tagged stud linebacker and pass rusher Justin Houston, who had 22 sacks last year, a half-sack shy of the single-season record. Houston is not expected to immediately sign his one-year tender to build leverage towards securing a long-term deal.
Broncos: Denver announced they will use its franchise tag to keep wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Thomas, who has eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving and double-digit touchdown marks the last three years, is Peyton Manning's go-to weapon in the Mile High City. The ripple effect includes tight end Julius Thomas being able to test free agency. The fifth-year tight end is expected to command quite the market as he hauled in 24 touchdowns the past two seasons.
Cowboys: Wide receiver Dez Bryant has been given the franchise tag in Dallas. Bryant is slated to make $12.8 million this season if he signs his tender. While the two sides have been in contract negotiations for well over a year, Bryant is too valuable of a playmaker to let leave town. The Cowboys will, however, allow running back DeMarco Murray to test the open market. Murray broke the Cowboys' single-season rushing record in 2015 and is eyeing an annual salary of $7 million a year, FOX Sports 1's Mike Garafolo reports in the video above.
Giants: Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has been slapped with the franchise tag, earning him a base salary of $11.9 million next season. The 26-year-old sack artist has said that he'd like to remain a Giant for the remainder of his career, but understands the logistics of business.
Patriots: Kicker Stephen Gostkowski will play under the franchise tag, which equates to $3.7 million. The surprising news means safety Devin McCourty is set to test the open market if the two sides can't hammer out a long-term deal before March 10, the beginning of the new league year.
Dolphins: Tight end Charles Clay was given the transition tag, the team announced. Clay, who will play for $7 million next season, can negotiate with other teams to secure a long-term deal, but the Dolphins own the right to first refusal.