Franchise tag deadline primer


Today at 4 p.m. ET marks the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign a long-term deal.

None of the five players slapped with the tag this year have signed an extended deal. Four of the five haven't inked their tag tender and have stayed away from offseason workouts.

The issues for each player are vastly different. Let's take a look at each scenario and reports about where the players stand as we inch closer to the deadline:

Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Cowboys have signed Bryant to a five-year, $70M deal with $45M in guarantees. 

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning is miffed that the wideout has missed all the offseason work as the Broncos install a new offense. He might be fuming even more if Thomas isn't around when training camp starts.

Rapoport reported Wednesday morning that barring a significant turn, a long-term deal is not excepted for the Broncos and their star wideout, per sources informed of the negotiations. 

On Tuesday's edition of NFL Total Access, Rapoport reported that there is a very good chance Thomas will skip training camp if a deal isn't done before the deadline and added "don't rule out" the wideout missing games.

The receiver reportedly wants a Calvin Johnson-type deal of $16 million per year, which came with $48 million guaranteed. The sides continue to haggle over guaranteed money, as most of the football world -- outside of agents -- see Megatron's contract as an outlier, not the starting point of negotiations. It sounds like the sides aren't close. According to Rapoport, the Broncos have offered "well over" $12 million per season, which they believe is competitive and fair.

Much like Bryant, the sides are essentially in a standoff, with the team leveraging the $12.823 million tag and the ability to wield it again next season.

Manning's head might explode if Thomas goes through with his threat of skipping training camp, but it might be the wideout's only play to convince the Broncos to not use the tag again next year.

Justin Houston, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have signed Houston to a six-year, $101 million deal with $52.5 million in guarantees, according to NFL Media's Rand Getlin and Albert Breer. 

Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants

The easiest: Zero chance an extended deal gets done. The Giants yanked a $60 million long-term deal after the pass-rusher injured his hand in a fireworks incident and subsequently had his index finger amputated. Rapoport reported that JPP wasn't going to sign that deal anyway.

Rapoport also reported that Pierre-Paul has no intention of inking the franchise tender until he's healthy enough to hit the field -- that way the Giants can't put him on the Non-Football Injury list and avoid paying him for a portion of the season.

Top 10 lists:

JPP will play under the $14.8 million franchise tag this season. The big questions are when will he be healthy enough to sign it -- a broken thumb has potential to hinder his recovery more than the amputation -- and how effective will he be once on the field?

Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots

NFL Media Insider reported Wednesday that the Patriots had inked Gostkowski to a four-year, $17.2 million deal, making him the highest paid kicker in the NFL. 

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