NFL teams will only have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 8, to use the franchise tag for the 2022 season.
As of writing, only three tags have been confirmed.
However, only one tag-related transaction has been made official, as NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport tweeted.
Source: The #Browns tagged TE David Njoku. The first one.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2022
Rapoport said, “Source: The #Browns tagged TE David Njoku. The first one.”
Browns general manager Andrew Berry said that the 25-year-old tight end from the University of Miami has his best football ahead of him.
On his part, Njoku expressed his desire to play for the Browns in the long term.
Therefore, the tag gives both parties more time to negotiate an extension.
For now, Njoku will still be a part of the Browns for 2022 and will earn $11 million guaranteed, based on the average of the top five cap hits for the position last season.
Flexibility With the New Deal
Giving Njoku the tag relieves the pressure of the Browns to finalize terms for a new deal.
Likewise, it gives them the flexibility in structuring the deal.
While the going rate for tight ends in the NFL is around $11 million, the Browns can soften the blow for the first year of his extension.
If both sides agree to a three-year contract, the Browns can have it at $7 million for the first year and $15 million in year three.