Packers could have longer to make franchise tag decision

Green Bay Packers, Brian GutekunstGpg Packers 031419 Abw079
Green Bay Packers, Brian GutekunstGpg Packers 031419 Abw079 /

The wait to find out whether the Green Bay Packers use the franchise tag may go on a little longer.

Aaron Jones is the most likely candidate to be franchise-tagged by the Packers should they decide to use it. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said they are open to using the franchise tag but didn’t give much away during last week’s press conference.

So now we wait until the deadline.

Originally scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, the deadline to use the franchise tag could be delayed.

According to Dan Graziano of ESPN, it’s due to uncertainty whether the salary cap number will be finalized before then.

Understandably, teams need to know the full salary cap number rather than a projection before making decisions as big as using the franchise tag. That’s especially true for a team like the Packers, who currently sit over the salary cap and will need to create space before the league year begins.

How can Gutekunst commit to using the franchise tag, only for the salary cap to be lowered more than he projected?

When the exact salary cap number will be determined remains to be seen, but it will need to be finalized before the new league year on March 17.

ESPN’s Field Yates believes a similar situation to last year could happen again, with the franchise tag deadline being set just before the start of the “legal tampering window”. This offseason that begins on March 15, two days before the official start of the new league year and free agency.

While we don’t yet know what the salary cap number will be in 2021, it will likely be lower than last season. The Packers will need to create cap room in the coming days and weeks, either by restructuring deals, releasing players, or maybe even making a trade.

But the wait to see if they’ll use the franchise tag goes on.