Eight NFL players received the franchise tag in March. Not one of them has signed a long-term contract, but that could change between now and Monday's deadline for teams to reach terms on a new deal with franchise players.
NFL.com's Albert Breer reported Friday on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" that Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ryan Clady is easily the "most likely" player of the eight to sign long term by Monday after "significant progress" was made toward a deal this week.
Breer reports the Broncos are offering $33 millon over the first three years of the contract, with all $33 million guaranteed. That's not quite Joe Thomas money, but it's awfully close. Considering Clady's injury history, it seems like a fair deal.
Peyton Manning, speaking from his passing academy Friday, expressed confidence that the Clady deal would get done. Perhaps Manning knew something. All signs are pointing toward a big contract being signed Monday. As long as there isn't a fax machine involved.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.