Eagles decide against using franchise tag at NFL deadline

Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The deadline for placing the franchise tag on NFL players has come and gone. The Philadelphia Eagles, as they normally do, have again elected against using it.

In some ways, that’s to be expected. Trusted voices like Zach Berman and Jeff McLane had reported that Philly  Philly has only exercised their right to use the franchise tag five times since that has become an option. They haven’t done so since 2012 (DeSean Jackson). Once, their decision to do so led to one of the ugliest standoffs between the front office and a player in franchise history (Jeremiah Trotter).

Despite our knowledge of that, the move, or lack thereof, is also a tad surprising. It wasn’t that long ago that Adam Caplan of Inside The Birds reported that he was hearing the plan was Philly would place the franchise tag on C.J. Gardner-Johnson if a long-term extension couldn’t be reached to keep him in the fray.

The Birds, to their credit, have, more often than not, done right by their players. Typically, they lock up the guys they want to keep around sooner rather than later. That will be hard to do this offseason with 20 impending free agents. Buckle up. Things just got a lot more interesting

Unless long-term deals can be reached, the Eagles appear to be on the verge of losing many of their starters from the 2022 NFL season.

James Bradberry… C.J. Gardner Johnson… Javon Hargrave… The Eagles fielded some talent in 2022. Now, if they’re to hang on to some of those guys, they have to hammer out new deals. As of 4 p.m. EST on March 7th, the option of using the tag to allow Philly more time to negotiate is gone.

If deals can’t be reached, a lot of familiar faces are going to test the free-agent market. The NFL’s negotiating window will open this coming Monday (March 13th) at noon EST, and contracts will officially be finalized beginning on Wednesday, March 15th when the new league year begins at a p.m. EST.