It’s a big week in the NFL. Training camps are getting underway and soon we’ll have preseason football at the beginning of August. With teams beginning to report, the NFL’s deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to long-term contracts is approaching. Here we’ll go over what time teams have before the deadline.
NFL franchise tag deadline
NFL teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Monday, July 17, to reach long-term deals with franchise-tagged players. We saw the Jacksonville Jaguars reach a deal with TE Evan Engram over the weekend to avoid the deadline. That leaves three players — all running backs — who we’re monitoring heading into Monday evening. Those players are New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley, Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Pollard and Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Both Jacobs and Barkley finished within the top-5 among backs in rushing last season. Jacobs led the NFL in rushing with 1,653 yards and was unable to get a long-term extension from the Raiders. Jacobs is just 25 years old and has appeared in 60 games over the past four seasons, rushing for over 1,000 yards in three of those campaigns. Jacobs is definitely deserving of a long-term contract. But the Raiders are reluctant to give out that many years/money to a back.
Barkley is another interesting case. While he had his best season since his rookie year in 2022, rushing for 1,312 yards and double-digit TDs, Barkley is 26 years old and has a history of injuries. He tore his ACL in 2020 and has had neck and ankle issues in the past. The Giants can likely use Barkley on the tag for another season and look to either draft or acquire a running back replacement after the 2023 season.
Pollard is also 26 and has been quite durable throughout his NFL career, similar to Jacobs. Pollard also broke out in 2022 with over 1,000 rushing yards and 12 total TDs for the Cowboys, who opted not to bring back veteran Ezekiel Elliott in free agency. That could change but you’d think the Cowboys would be OK continuing with Pollard in the short-term. While Pollard has appeared in over 60 games he only has 510 carries and a pretty clean bill of health in the NFL.