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RECAP: Franchise Tag Numbers Are Tentatively Established

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Franchise tag numbers were tentatively set in late December, so they could always change. But if the Bengals can't sign Andre Smith and Michael Johnson, what's the cost to use the franchise tag?

Joe Robbins

Last month the NFL Network released tentative numbers for the franchise tag and we wanted to reiterate those numbers in the face of two highly productive players entering the offseason as unrestricted free agents.

If the Cincinnati Bengals use the franchise tag on offensive tackle Andre Smith, they'll have $9.66 million designated for their starting right tackle. All of it guaranteed. Michael Johnson will be more expensive at $10.984 million. Again, guaranteed.

The risk of using the franchise tag is that you're facing an issue next year where:

  • Contract expires for franchise player (Johnson or Smith)
  • Contract expires for Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap (if they're not extended)
  • Contract extensions are open for A.J. Green, Andy Dalton and Clint Boling.

You think that the Bengals are conservative with their money while arguing for Greg Jennings?

Tentative franchise tag numbers this year.

POSITION FRANCHISE TRANSITION
Quarterback $14.642 $12.845
Defensive End $10.984 $8.994
Cornerback $10.668 $8.939
Wide Receiver $10.357 $8.716
Offensive Lineman $9.660 $8.560
Linebacker $9.455 $8.216
Defensive Tackle $8.306 $6.910
Running Back $8.079 $6.851
Safety $6.798 $5.899
Tight End $5.962 $5.105
Kicker/Punter $2.926 $2.654