Which current Giants players with expiring contracts could receive the lone franchise tag the organization has to offer?
The Giants are no frequent users (just four times in 14 years) of the franchise tag — the annual tool NFL organizations can utilize to bring guys with expiring contracts back on one-year deals. Each position, however, carries a set salary, with some spots taking on a higher financial value than others.
According to Over The Cap founder Jason Fitzgerald, a $180.5 million salary cap (which the actual salary cap is expected to be around) would carry the following franchise tag values.
On a $180.5M cap the franchise tag numbers should be
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) February 7, 2021
So given there’s now a ballpark range for the worth of each type of franchise tag, which soon-to-be unrestricted free agents could the Giants potentially retain for at least one more season?
This would be a risky move, considering the Giants already franchise-tagged Leonard Williams entering the 2020 campaign. Tagging him again would likely cause the veteran defensive lineman to be extremely unhappy, given he may seek a long-term deal containing an average annual salary in the $20-25 million range.
Nonetheless, it would indeed be a way for the Giants to save a notable amount of money.
It’s unclear what Williams would make under a potential tag though. Last offseason, his tag was for $16.1 million, the value for a defensive tackle. However, Williams argued that he was a defensive end and should’ve received $17.8 million.
Could Williams use the same type of argument this season? The defensive tackle value is projected to be near $13.74 million while the defensive end value should be around $14.53 million.
The contracts of both Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson are expiring, which will bring upon an interesting dilemma for the organization. It’s unclear if the Giants will wish to make a pair of expensive long-term investments within the same general position group; if the team comes to a long-term agreement with Williams, there’s a chance it decides to place its lone tag on Tomlinson.
While Williams could go either way as far as the position he’s designated to (defensive tackle or defensive end), Tomlinson is surely deemed a defensive tackle, which would lead to him receiving a $13.74 million tag.
This actually would provide him with an average annual salary over his market value, per Spotrac. Tomlinson’s current calculated market value is $9.5 million annually. Spotrac projects he’ll be worth a four-year, $38.2 million deal if a long-term contract were to come to fruition.
It’s tough to imagine the Giants pulling off a move like this, considering it would provide Wayne Gallman with a base salary of around $8.07 million — over $7 million more than what starting running back Saquon Barkley’s base salary will be. Simply speaking, the Giants would definitely be reluctant to pay their backup running back that much.
Nonetheless, it’s not an impossible scenario. Gallman underwent the most productive season of his career in 2020 with Barkley sidelined due to a torn ACL. It’ll be interesting to see if the Giants will want to keep Gallman in the fold to assist in the offensive unit’s development in 2021.
A multi-year agreement with Gallman is seemingly out of the question, considering he’ll desire a decent chunk of change and an opportunity to compete for a starting job. Placing the franchise tag on him will likely be the only way to keep him in East Rutherford for the 2021 campaign.