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NFL franchise, transition tag recap for 2020

What NFL players were given the franchise tag for the 2020 NFL season?

Hunter Henry of the Los Angeles Chargers warms-up before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Dignity Health Sports Park October 13, 2019 in Carson, California. Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The 2020 franchise tag period ended at noon eastern on Monday after the NFL decided not to postpone the the start of the league season. The league tampering window starts Monday at noon and goes until Wednesday at 4pm eastern, which is when free agency officially begins and all teams must fit under the $198.2 million salary cap.

Below you will find all of the players who received the 2020 franchise tag from their team.

Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers, $10.6 million

If you look at Henry’s stats, they’re good but don’t reflect his ability, as he has had trouble staying on the field due to injuries. When healthy, he is one of the top tight ends in the league. The duo of Austin Ekeler and Henry will be a great help to whoever comes in to replace Philip Rivers in 2020.

Brandon Scherff, G, Washington, $14.8 million

Washington doesn’t have many positions they can say with confidence are consistently productive and with Trent Williams holding out last season, Scherff was easily the most stable part of a below-average offensive line. Franchising Scherff is one way they can have some continuity for quarterback Dwayne Haskins in his second season and keep the line from a total breakdown. He has had injury trouble but finding an offensive lineman of his ability in free agency or the draft is no easy task.

Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Jaguars, $17.8 million

Ngakoue is not interested in a long-term deal with the Jaguars as they let go of Malik Jackson and Tashaun Gipson before last season and then got rid of Jalen Ramsey during last season. Now, they’ve parted ways with Calais Campbell, Marcell Dareus, and A.J. Bouye this offseason, as they go into full rebuild mode. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport believes the Jaguars likely trade Ngakoue for a high draft pick instead of stick with him at the franchise tag salary for another season.

Justin Simmons, FS, Broncos, $11.4 million

With Chris Harris likely moving on, the 26-year-old Simmons is the face of the Broncos secondary. Last season Simmons had four interceptions and 15 passes defensed to back up a strong 2018 while also not missing any games. Simmons isn’t a player the Broncos want just a one-year deal on, which would mean they’d need to go through this process again net season, so they will likely try to get a long-term deal done.

Matt Judon, OLB, Ravens, $15.8 million

Judon stepped up last season as one of the few defensive players on the Ravens to truly get after the quarterback as he finished with 9.5 sacks and 33 QB hits. Baltimore’s defense is lacking in when it comes to pressuring the quarterback and with Lamar Jackson helping his team to big leads, they need to be able to make teams pay when they commit to the pass in comeback mode.

Bud Dupree, OLB, Steelers, $15.8 million

Dupree had the best season of his career in 2019 and at just 27 years of age, the Steelers want to keep him around. They will likely attempt to sign him to a long-term deal before the July 15th deadline.

Shaq Barrett, OLB, Bucs, $15.8 million

Barrett led the league in sacks last season and coach Bruce Arians said multiple times that they wouldn’t let him go this off season. With the tag set on Barrett, there is little chance they keep Jameis Winston now. 2019 was by far Barrett’s best season, so the tag could help Tampa Bay make sure that he’s not a one-hit wonder before paying up for a long-term contract.

Chris Jones, DT, Chiefs, $16.1 million

The Chiefs and Jones haven’t been able to come to a long-term deal and they were set on keeping Jones no matter what, so the tag was inevitable. They will likely try again at some point and Jones will probably sit out OTAs to push the team, but there’s a real chance he plays on the tag this season.

Leonard Williams, DT, Giants, $17.4 million

The Giants defensive tackle actually started last season with the Jets, but then was moved for a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick to their fellow MetLife Stadium tenant. Last season Williams had 46 tackles for between both teams, with three passes defensed and half a sack. His primary value is as a run stuffer in the middle, and those are valuable to find in the NFL.

A.J. Green, WR, Bengals, $18.5 million

Despite tearing ankle ligaments during the first hour of training camp in 2019, Green was still given the tag by the Bengals. One of the NFL’s best receivers, Green had 75 catches for 1078 yards and eight touchdowns in his last fully-healthy season of 2017. He also added 46 receptions for 694 yards in just nine games in 2018.

Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys, $26.9 million

The two sides were working on a long-term deal, so we’ll see how the franchise tag changes the thinking. Prescott has never missed a game in his four-year NFL career, with 388 completions on 596 passes for 4902 yards and 30 touchdowns against 11 interceptions in 2019. He’ll take a bite out of the Cowboys salary cap without an extension, but he’ll also be one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL for one season as well.

Derrick Henry, RB, Titans, $12.4 million

Possibly the best running back in the NFL, the Titans tagged Henry after a fantastic season which Henry had 303 carries for 1540 yards and 16 touchdowns, and then improved on those numbers in three playoff games. After Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill was signed to a long-term extension, this move wasn’t exactly a surprise.

Joe Thuney, G, Patriots, $16.1 million

A valuable left guard that Bill Belichick wanted to retain despite the big cap figure, Thuney has started all 64 games during his four-year NFL career. A part of the Patriots Super Bowl win in 2017, he was a third-round pick of the Pats in 2016 after playing college football at North Carolina State. Thuney was also named second team All-Pro in 2019.

Anthony Harris, S, Minnesota Vikings, $12.7 million

Harris would have been the top safety on the market, so it’s not entirely surprising the Vikings decided to play it safe. Harris was PFF’s top-graded coverage safety and second highest overall graded safety. He ranked second in tackling efficiency, 13th in coverage snaps per reception, and fifth in slot coverage snaps per reception.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals, $10.1 million (transition tag)

The Cardinals acquired Drake last year via trade after David Johnson and Chase Edmonds suffered injuries. Drake proved to be the best back of the three in the back half of the season, which was timely for him as free agency approached. The Cardinals’ use of the transition tag gives them right of first refusal on any offer. If they do not match an offer, they get no compensation if Drake leaves.