Friday, October 24, 2014
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NFL franchise tag roundup, and the impact on the Eagles

A roundup of who was tagged around the league and how they may (or may not) affect the Eagles.

NFL franchise tag roundup, and the impact on the Eagles

Cleveland Browns safety T.J.Ward. (David Richard/AP file photo)
Cleveland Browns safety T.J.Ward. (David Richard/AP file photo)

The deadline for NFL teams to designate the franchise or transition tag has come and gone. Only four players were slapped with the franchise tag, and two were hit with the transition tag. In case you're unfamiliar with the franchise or transition tag, explanations can be found here.

A roundup of who was tagged around the league and how they may (or may not) affect the Eagles:

Franchise tag

Brian Orakpo, OLB, Redskins: We covered Orakpo earlier today. Orakpo may have been a player of interest to the Eagles, who can use a pass rushing OLB, but the Redskins ultimately decided that keeping Orakpo and thus not opening up yet another hole in their porous defense was worth the $11.5 million price tag.

Greg Hardy, DE, Panthers: There was no way the Panthers were going to let Hardy get away. Hardy had 15 sacks for Carolina in 2013, and 11 in 2012. He is emerging as one of the best defensive players in the game, despite the lack of name recognition.

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Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints: Like Hardy, there was no way the Saints were going to let Graham test the free agent waters. With Rob Gronkowski's durability issues, Graham is arguably the best TE in the game, and a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

Nick Folk, K, Jets: One less kicker available in case the Eagles may have had interest.

Transition tag

Alex Mack, C, Browns: After wrapping up Jason Kelce to a long-term deal, the Eagles weren't going to have interest in Mack.

Jason Worilds, OLB, Steelers: The Eagles could still likely have interest in Worilds, but it's unlikely. The Steelers can match any offer the Eagles offer him.

Players of note who were not tagged

Jairus Byrd, S, Bills: Again, we covered Byrd earlier today, but he is certainly a player of interest. Byrd was reportedly offered a deal worth a "substantial" amount of money to stay in Buffalo, but he turned it down. Byrd could be a good fit in Philly as a playmaking centerfielder, but at what cost? With Byrd set to hit the free agent waters, the Eagles will have a chance to make a play for Byrd if they so choose.

T.J. Ward, S, Browns: It was somewhat of a surprise that Ward was not franchise tagged. Both Ward and Byrd played at Oregon. Byrd was there when Chip Kelly was the offensive coordinator. Ward played under Kelly when he was the head coach for one year in 2009. Unlike Byrd, Ward is more of physical in-the-box safety than he is a patrolling centerfielder type. Of Byrd and Ward, Byrd seems like the more natural fit, but that doesn't rule out the Eagles as potential suitors.

Steven Hauschka, K, Seahawks: It was believed that the Seahawks could slap Hauschka with the franchise tag, seeing as the cost to retain kickers is reasonable. The Eagles could have interest, but the difficulty with signing Hauschka would be the presence of Alex Henery in Philly. Henery will definitely have competition in training camp this year, but the Eagles probably aren't ready to throw in the towel on him just yet. If you're Hauschka, coming off your best season as a pro on a Super Bowl winning team, how willing would you be to go to Philly to compete with a guy who is a former 4th round pick that the team may give the nod to if the competition is near even? To sign Hauschka, you'd probably have to commit to him as being "the guy." In other words, you'd probably have to cut Henery to sign Hauschka, and the Eagles probably aren't ready to do that.

Donnie Jones, P, Eagles: The Eagles were not expected to tag Jones, and they didn't, although they are likely to re-sign him. Because Donnie J'owns.

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