The deadline for NFL teams to utilize the franchise or transition tags is currently set for Tuesday, March 9, at 4 p.m. ET. It might have to be moved.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday morning that several general managers are bracing for the possibility of the franchise tag deadline being pushed back, further stalling business transactions.
Pushing the tag deadline could be necessary if the official salary cap number isn't announced.
We know the salary cap won't be lower than $180 million, but how close it is to that floor will determine each team's flexibility in 2021. If the official figure isn't announced at some point Monday, expect the deadline to get pushed.
It wouldn't be new for the NFL to extend the franchise tag window. Last year, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to push the deadline as players voted on passing a new CBA.
Justin Simmons is the only player whose team has announced the franchise tender has been used. More are expected to come down in the coming days, like Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Panthers tackle Taylor Moton and others. Extending the deadline could give teams extra time to try to hammer out a long-term solution before having to utilize the tag.
Delaying the franchise tag window would further push team moves into the coming days and continue to compress action ahead of the new league year, which begins on March 17. The longer business is delayed, the more furious the transactions will come once the official salary cap is officially set.