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2015 NFL Franchise Tag Candidates

By Matt Schauf | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT

OK, NFL teams. Today's the day that you can start applying franchise tags or transition tags. (You're welcome for the reminder.)

According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, these are the projected 2015 salaries that would follow for each position:

Franchise

Quarterback: $18.51 million
Running Back: $10.93 million
Wide Receiver: $12.80 million
Tight End: $8.33 million
Offensive Lineman: $12.92 million
Defensive Tackle: $11.17 million
Defensive End: $14.78 million
Linebacker: $13.17 million
Cornerback: $13.05 million
Safety: $9.60 million
Punter/Kicker: $4.12 million

Transition

QB: $16.12 million
RB: $9.02 million
WR: $10.95 million
TE: $7.057 million
OL: $11.08 million
DT: $9.30 million
DE: $11.94 million
LB: $11.04 million
CB: $11.06 million
S: $8.25 million
P/K: $3.71 million

Last year saw only 4 players get the franchise tag (plus the transition tag for another 2). That was down from 8 franchise-tagged players in 2013 and 21 back in 2012. Front offices seem to be growing more wary of throwing so much cap space at a single player on a 1-year deal.

That said, there are some candidates to get tagged in the coming weeks -- with these twelve 2015 NFL free agents looking most possible. Before you laugh at the 1st, remember that Jets K Nick Folk was among the 4 taggees in 2014.

Atlanta Falcons: K Matt Bryant
Baltimore Ravens: WR Torrey Smith, OLB Pernell McPhee
Buffalo Bills: DE Jerry Hughes
Dallas Cowboys: WR Dez Bryant
Denver Broncos: WR Demaryius Thomas, TE Julius Thomas
Detroit Lions: DT Ndamukong Suh
Kansas City Chiefs: OLB Justin Houston
New England Patriots: S Devin McCourty
New York Giants: DE Jason Pierre-Paul
San Francisco 49ers: WR Michael Crabtree
Tennessee Titans: OLB Derrick Morgan

These other 9 look even less likely to get tagged but remain dark-horse candidates.

Cleveland Browns: OLB Jabaal Sheard, TE Jordan Cameron
Green Bay Packers: WR Randall Cobb
Miami Dolphins: TE Charles Clay
New Orleans Saints: RB Mark Ingram
Philadelphia Eagles: WR Jeremy Maclin
San Diego Chargers: RB Ryan Mathews, CB Brandon Flowers
Washington: OLB Brian Orakpo

And here are our picks for the top free agents for the rest of the teams, many of whom reveal why that team doesn't need to worry about the 2015 tags.

Arizona Cardinals: CB Antonio Cromartie
Carolina Panthers: DE Greg Hardy
Chicago Bears: DT Stephen Paea
Cincinnati Bengals: K Mike Nugent
Houston Texans: CB Kareem Jackson
Indianapolis Colts: DE Cory Redding, S Mike Adams
Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Cecil Shorts
Minnesota Vikings: FB Jerome Felton
New York Jets: ILB David Harris
Oakland Raiders: DT Pat Sims
Pittsburgh Steelers: OLB Jason Worilds
Seattle Seahawks: CB Byron Maxwell
St. Louis Rams: OT Joe Barksdale
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Adrian Clayborn

Free agency opens on March 10.

Matt Schauf Author Image
Matt Schauf, Editor
Matt has earned two Fantasy Pros accuracy awards for IDP rankings and won thousands of dollars as a player across best ball, dynasty, and high-stakes fantasy formats. He has been creating fantasy football content for more than 20 years, with work featured by Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon, Sirius XM, and others. He's been with Draft Sharks since 2011.
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