Huard: Why Seahawks won’t use franchise tag this offseason

Feb 21, 2024, 9:45 AM | Updated: 9:52 am

Seattle Seahawks Leonard Williams...

Leonard Williams of the Seattle Seahawks reacts on Nov. 5, 2023. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

A big part of the NFL offseason has begun as teams can officially use the franchise tag on players. Will the Seattle Seahawks utilize that tool this year?

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The franchise tag is a designation that teams can use on pending free agents. What it does is it gives that player a one-year, fully guaranteed deal that is the higher of 120% of the player’s previous salary or the average of the five highest-paid players at their position.

There are two types of franchise tag: the exclusive and non-exclusive tags, the latter of which is more rare. Both abide by the rules listed above, but players with the non-exclusive designation are able to negotiate with other teams. Should they come to an agreement with a new team, their previous team has the right to match the contract offer. If the player signs with a new team, the original team nets draft pick compensation.

The Seahawks have rarely used the franchise tag under general manager John Schneider, who has been with the team since 2010. Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard doesn’t see the team using it this year, either.

“No, I don’t think so,” Huard said to Mike Salk during Tuesday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports. “I was looking through a bunch of the team, Salk, and there’s gonna be a lot of nos.”

When looking at the Seahawks’ roster and their pending free agents, Huard sees two defenders as potential franchise tag candidates. But for various reasons, it’s unlikely that either will get tagged.

“No. 1, Leonard Williams, the Big Cat,” Huard said. “That’s not going to happen.”

Williams is a veteran defensive tackle who the Seahawks acquired at the trade deadline last season after sending second- and fifth-round draft picks to New York.

The projected franchise tag salary for a defensive tackle this offseason, per OverTheCap, is just under $21 million. The issue for the Seahawks, though, is Williams has been given the franchise tag twice already. Because of that, should he be given the tag again, his salary would be much higher than the projected $20.93 million total.

“He was franchised twice in New York and that number as a third franchise (tag), it’d be something like $36 to $38 million,” Huard said. “That’s absolutely a non-starter.”

The other candidate? Inside linebacker Jordyn Brooks.

But the franchise tag amount for linebackers is the second-highest of all positions at over $22.7 million because inside linebackers and pass-rushing outside linebackers, who command more money, are lumped into the same category.

“Are you going to franchise tag Jordyn Brooks and guarantee him $22 million?” Huard said. “You didn’t pick up his fifth-year option, which was a lot less than that (at roughly $12.7 million for 2024). You’re not putting that tag on him even to start the negotiations. And the Seahawks have used that to kind of start the negotiations (in the past). You’re not doing that. That number is not starting anywhere with a two when it comes to Jordyn Brooks and a linebacker. I don’t see them franchising anybody on this roster.”

Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

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