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Franchise tag deadline pushed back to right before free agency tampering period

This will not have a huge impact on free agency, but it’s a notable change to the timeline.

Yannick Ngakoue of the Jacksonville Jaguars tackles Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of a game at TIAA Bank Field on December 01, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

The NFL and NFLPA are attempting to finalize a new collective bargaining agreement, and this has resulted in changes to the franchise tag situation. The opening date was moved around and on Tuesday, the ending date for applying the tag was finalized.

The NFL and NFLPA announced an agreement to extend the deadline of the franchise/transition tag period to 11:59:59 a.m. ET on Monday, March 16th, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The tampering period begins at noon that day, so the franchise tags will quite literally be going to the last second of the day before teams can formally start negotiating with outside free agents. Teams can formally sign free agents beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 18th.

We’ll know ahead of time most of the players that will be tagged, but this likely removes the occasional time when a player re-signs and the tag is removed before free agency begins. The list of players expected to be tagged include Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon, Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry, and New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams.