Jason Pierre-Paul, Chandler Jones, Le’Veon Bell, Kawann Short Receive Franchise Tags Ahead of Deadline
With two days to go before the franchise tag deadline, NFL teams moved to lock down their star players. Those tagged Monday included New York Giants end Jason Pierre-Paul, Arizona Cardinals end Chandler Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, and Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short.
For Pierre-Paul, who is coming off a one-year, $10 million deal signed following the 2015 fireworks incident which cost him his fingers, the franchise tag is a return to normal for the pass rusher. Before going down with a groin injury in Week 13, JPP led the Giants with seven sacks and 16 quarterback hits.
Jones is on a non-exclusive tag that will almost guarantee his playing for the Cards come the 2017 season. Jones is free to speak with other teams and even sign an offer sheet which Arizona may match. If they choose not to match, the team that acquires Chandler will have to pay up two first-round draft picks. I’m not sure many teams will be interested in shelling out a multi-million-dollar contract and two of their top picks for Jones, but the Cleveland Browns have made worse moves, I guess.
Le’Veon, on the other hand, may be worth two first-round picks, so the Steelers weren’t about to make that an option. Wide receiver Antonio Brown just became the highest paid receiver in the NFL, and I won’t be surprised if the Steelers do the same with Bell. Either way, Pittsburgh will look much the same come 2017.
Finally, Kawann received a tag from the Carolina Panthers, a team which didn’t have much luck last season with tagging cornerback Josh Norman. After failing to work out a long-term deal, general manager Dave Gettleman pulled the tag, allowing Norman to walk to the Washington Redskins. Short, one of the top offseason priorities for the Panthers, vows to cooperate more than Norman. In fact, Short seemed to throw a little bit of shade at the Redskins corner, stressing the difference between himself and Norman.
“Me and Josh are two totally different people,” said Short. “We walk two totally different sides of the street, at two totally different paces, in two totally different directions. Me and Josh are not the same.”
Norman, of course, isn’t exactly a favorite among his former Panther teammates for leaving. I’m not sure why you would want to leave one year after winning the NFC Championship Game, but, hey, at least he’s doing well in D.C…oh, wait.