NFL franchise tag 2021: 10 players most likely to be tagged

Patriots free agency news, Hunter Henry

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 17: Hunter Henry #86 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after scoring a 10-yard touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of the game at Allegiant Stadium on December 17, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

These 10 players could get slapped with the franchise tag in the offseason.

One of the most interesting tools in the arsenal of an NFL organization is the franchise tag. Teams often use the tag to prevent a core player from testing free agency, setting the stage for a potential long term contract or a trade to extract draft pick compensation from another organization.

Another option would be to simply keep the player on an expensive one-year deal, giving the team the option to use the franchise tag a second time at a pay raise. Let’s take a look at the ten most likely candidates to get hit with the tag, beginning with Hunter Henry.

10. Franchise tag candidates – Chargers TE Hunter Henry

The Los Angeles Chargers used the franchise tag on Henry a year ago, paying him $10.6 million for the 2020 season. Henry rewarded the Chargers’ faith by delivering some strong production, catching 60 passes for 613 yards and four touchdowns.

Los Angeles could look to keep Henry on the tag for a second straight year in order to provide a key weapon to second-year quarterback Justin Herbert. A second franchise tag would cost the Chargers just over $12 million, which would be a good option since the tight end’s tag value is among the lowest in the sport.

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