Packers shouldn’t use franchise tag in 2023 offseason

Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers shouldn’t — and almost certainly won’t — use the franchise tag this offseason.

It’s pretty rare for the Packers to use the franchise tag. They used it a year ago to prevent star wide receiver Davante Adams from hitting free agency.

Green Bay ended up trading Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, where he signed a new multi-year deal.

This offseason, there are no obvious candidates for the Packers to use the franchise tag on, especially considering their limited salary cap space.

Below is a list of the Packers’ upcoming unrestricted free agents and the projected franchise tag cost, according to Over The Cap:

  • WR Randall Cobb ($19.74 million)
  • K Mason Crosby ($5.39 million)
  • WR Allen Lazard ($19.74 million)
  • S Adrian Amos ($14.46 million)
  • CB Keisean Nixon ($18.14 million)
  • S Rudy Ford ($14.46 million)
  • S Dallin Leavitt ($14.46 million)
  • DT Jarran Reed ($18.94 million)
  • TE Robert Tonyan ($11.35 million)
  • TE Marcedes Lewis ($11.35 million)
  • DT Dean Lowry ($18.94 million)
  • EDGE Justin Hollins ($20.93 million)
  • CB Corey Ballentine ($18.14 million)
  • LB Eric Wilson ($20.93 million)

Using the franchise tag means signing that player to a one-year, fully-guaranteed deal. That’s a lot of money to add to the salary cap.

There is a window to negotiate a long-term deal, so using the franchise tag can allow for more time to work on a new contract. A player can be traded on the franchise tag, as we saw with Davante Adams last year.

As you can see, franchise-tagging any of the upcoming free agents would be extremely expensive for the Packers, and they would need to find ways to create that cap space.

Perhaps the only exception is Mason Crosby. Even then, if the Packers want Crosby back, they would be better off working out a long-term contract to help manage future salary cap hits.

It would be a huge surprise if the Packers used the franchise tag for the second year in a row.