The Buffalo Bills have 10 free agents that are unrestricted and are set to hit the free agent market on March 10th. Of those 10 only 4 are worth discussing a franchise tag being placed on them. The four take might be considered are Da’Norris Searcy, Brandon Spikes, C.J. Spiller and Jerry Hughes.
Of the four mentioned above, Jerry Hughes is really the only one that deserves a long discussion on.
At this point, the franchise tag and transition tags have been available to be used for 11 days and they will expire in 3 days, March 2nd. At this point, the Buffalo Bills have not used the tags on anyone, nor has anyone in the league for that matter.
Franchise tags can become expensive depending on the position. Although there are still 3 days to work out a long term deal, will the Buffalo Bills work out that long term deal with Jerry Hughes or will they end up applying the franchise tag to him and end up paying him the 14 million that he will gain with the tag.
A thought process for players not signing at this point and teams not apply the tags looks towards the waiting game of what others players might merit in the form of contract compensation. Other players could be waiting to see what long term contracts other players of similar status are able to receive. This will provide the waiting players some leverage at the negotiation table. Organizations could also be waiting on the same philosophy because why tag a player and end up paying more for the players services than would be market appropriate.
A second reason is explained much better by PFT.com than I could.
"There’s another reason to wait. Two words: Sammy Watkins.Last year, the Bills gave up the ninth pick in the 2014 draft, a first-round pick in 2015, and a fourth-round pick in 2015 to get an unproven receiver. There’s already talk that one or more teams will at least consider signing a franchise-tagged player to an offer sheet and giving up a pair of first-round picks, especially if this year’s first-round pick falls at the bottom of the round.Alternatively, a team can wait until after the 2015 draft to sign a franchise-tagged player to an offer sheet. Then, the compensation if the offer isn’t matched would be first-round picks in 2016 and 2017.– PFT.com"
For Jerry Hughes, a franchise tag would be in the range of 14 million for this year, as we have mentioned. Is he worth 14 million a year? I am not in a position to answer that question, only the Buffalo Bills, Jerry Hughes, and the other teams in the league can answer that. A long term deal will be a much better situation for the Bills and will allow them to lock up Hughes for an extended period of time for less money.
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