The first big question of the NFL offseason has been answered for several teams around the league, as the franchise tag deadline passed Tuesday with six potential free agents getting tagged (including one on the non-exclusive tag).


RBs Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley and Tony Pollard, TE Evan Engram and DT Daron Payne all received the exclusive tag from their respective teams, while the Ravens placed the non-exclusive tag on QB Lamar Jackson.

Below, we look at all the franchise tag moves and what they mean for fantasy football.

2023 NFL Franchise Tag Deadline

Lamar Jackson Gets Non-Exclusive Tag in Baltimore

The Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on the 26-year-old quarterback, which will allow him to negotiate with other teams. If Jackson receives an offer from another team, the Ravens have the option to match or receive two first-round picks if they decline. 

If Jackson stays in Baltimore, his 2023 salary would be $32.5 million. If the Ravens had decided to put the exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, his salary would have increased to roughly $45.2 million. Regardless of the quotes from both sides, the message Baltimore has sent to Jackson is clear: Try to find the deal you want from another team. It has been rumored Jackson is looking for a comparable contract to Deshaun Watson, who signed a five-year, $230 million contract with Cleveland last March. Both the Ravens and Jackson failed to come to a long-term agreement for over a year, causing Baltimore to risk losing the former NFL MVP to another team. 

It’s been a volatile career for Jackson, who has failed to maintain his early-career success from the 2019 campaign. He has thrown 33 total touchdowns over the past two seasons, after posting 36 in his MVP year. Jackson has also thrown 29 interceptions after just nine total in his first two seasons. 

Jackson’s elite rushing ability continued to thrive this season, almost matching his career-high with 6.8 yards per carry in 2022. However, with rushing comes more risk, and Jackson has missed a combined 10 games over the past two seasons. 

From a win/loss perspective, the Ravens have been a much more successful team with Jackson on the field. Baltimore’s career record without Jackson is just 4-8. 

Early reports are that some of the teams considered most QB needy aren’t all in on Jackson:

That said, Jackson should be a hot commodity in free agency. If he returns to Baltimore, he’ll be a top-five fantasy QB again. If he leaves, the Ravens will have to join the mix of teams desperate for a quarterback this offseason or roll with Tyler Huntley.

Daniel Jones Gets Long-Term Deal; Saquon Barkley Gets Tagged

The New York Giants had to thread the needle before the deadline, with only one franchise tag available and two free agents potentially warranting the move. They sneaked in under the wire, agreeing to a deal with QB Daniel Jones that could be worth up to $160 over four years. That freed the team up to apply the tag to Saquon Barkley, who is coming off his best season since his rookie year in 2018. Barkley made the Pro Bowl in 2022 and finished third in Comeback Player of the Year voting, He rushed for a career-high 1,312 yards and scored 10 touchdowns, finishing the year as the RB5 in PPR.

Saquon Barkley Fantasy Football Franchise Tag Reactions

This move helps fantasy managers, as Jones and Barkley were almost the entire Giants offense in 2022. They were the only two Giants to reach even 135 PPR points, with Jones putting up 289.0 and Barkley 284.0. The team will certainly bolster its receiver corps this offseason, but the offense will still run through a top-five fantasy running back and a solid QB2 with upside.

Josh Jacobs Remains in Las Vegas

After a career year in 2022, Josh Jacobs will stick with the Raiders in 2023 after the team tagged him. There are reports that the tag is just a way to let the sides negotiate more on a long-term deal, but either way Jacobs will be back on the team in 2023.

Jacobs put up a league-leading 1,653 rushing yards and scored 12 touchdowns last year, finishing as the RB3. His fate going forward will be significantly tied to whoever the Raiders land on as their starting quarterback, but even if the team strikes out at finding a franchise signal caller this offseason, Jacobs will be a solid fantasy starter with huge upside.


Cowboys Retain Tony Pollard

Even after a fractured left fibula in the Cowboys’ Divisional Round loss in this year’s playoffs, Tony Pollard commanded top dollar, and the team decided to keep him around by placing the tag on him this week. More importantly for Pollard’s fantasy stock is the news that Ezekiel Elliott could be cut this offseason. If Elliott goes (and no load-carrier is brought in), Pollard could flirt with solid RB1 status in 2023.

The Pollard tag also means the Cowboys couldn’t tag TE Dalton Schultz, who will hit free agency and leave a hole at the position in Dallas. Schultz will likely have plenty of suitors in an offseason that doesn’t provide a lot of options for teams seeking tight ends, especially considering…

Jaguars Tag Evan Engram

Evan Engram Fantasy Football Franchise Tag Reactions

Jacksonville will be keeping the band together in 2023, keeping Evan Engram after he had a career year in his first season with the Jags. Engram came over from the Giants last offseason and had career highs in receptions (73) and yards (766), scoring 4 touchdowns en route to a TE5 finish.

Engram sticking around in Jacksonville felt like a pretty safe bet all offseason. TE5 might be too bold for him going forward, especially with the Jaguars bringing back all their top contributors from 2022 and adding the now-reinstated Calvin Ridley, but he should be a back-end fantasy starter in Jacksonville.

Daron Payne Stays in Washington

This move doesn’t do a lot for fantasy, but the Commanders chose to bring back DT Daron Payne with the tag, keeping together one of the best defensive lines in the game.

Players Not Tagged

Some players who were considered candidates for the franchise tag didn’t get one, meaning they’ll hit free agency. That list includes:

  • Orlando Brown, T, Kansas City Chiefs: Brown enters free agency after four straight Pro Bowls, the last two in Kansas City. He’ll be a hot commodity on the OL market.
  • Matt Gay, K, Los Angeles Rams: Kickers are never big headline grabbers, but Gay has converted 60 of 64 field goal attempts over the last two years. He’ll land somewhere and be interesting wherever it is.
  • Jonathan Jones, CB, New England Patriots: The Patriots didn’t tag the veteran Jones, who had a career-high four interceptions in 2022, but there are rumors the team will still try to bring him back. Still, secondary-needy teams will poke around.
  • C.J. Gardner-Johnson, CB, Philadelphia Eagles: Gardner-Johnson was a key part of an Eagles team that went to the Super Bowl this year after coming over from New Orleans in an end-of-offseason trade. The team is expected to try to keep him around.