Should the Buffalo Bills Franchise Tag Cordy Glenn?


Should the Buffalo Bills Franchise Tag Cordy Glenn?

Yesterday was the first day that the Buffalo Bills could apply the franchise tag to Cordy Glenn.  Based on a projected $154 million salary cap it’s estimated that this would cost the Bills $13.7 million in 2016 according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN. Should the Bills apply the franchise tag if they are unable to agree to a long-term deal with Glenn before free agency opens?  Let’s examine their options.

Option 1:  Do nothing and let him hit the open market.

Option 2: Use the exclusive franchise tag.  This would give the Bills exclusive rights to negotiate with Glenn.  If they were unable to agree to a long-term deal he could play in 2016 for a one-year, $13.7 million contract.

Option 3: Use the non-exclusive franchise tag.  This would allow Glenn to negotiate with other teams. The Bills could choose to match any offers for him.  If they chose not to match an offer from another team they would receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.

Option 4: Use the transition tag.  This is similar to the non-exclusive tag but the Bills wouldn’t get any draft picks in return if he signs with another team.

Option 5:  Agree to a long-term contract with Glenn before free agency starts.

The franchise tag pays a player the greater amount of either 120 percent of their prior years’ salary or the average salary of the top five players at their position.  The only difference with the transition tag is that it pays the greater amount of 120 percent of the prior years’ salary or the average of the top ten salaries at their position.

More from BuffaLowDown

If the Bills don’t franchise tag Cordy Glenn by the deadline on March 1st, he can begin negotiating with other teams on March 7th.  On March 9th at 4 pm, Buffalo is required to be under the 2016 salary cap per league rules.  This is also the same date and time that players can officially sign a contract with another team.  If Buffalo wants to tag Glenn they will likely need to cut Mario Williams before this deadline to clear $12.9 million in cap space.

Doug Whaley has already made it clear that he would like to retain both Glenn and Richie Incognito for next season.  It’s more important for Buffalo to focus on negotiations with Glenn in light of the health issues that Sentreal Henderson is facing and their lack of overall depth at offensive tackle.  The Bills would have until July 15th to negotiate a long-term deal with Glenn if they apply the franchise tag.

This past season, Glenn was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the 7th best left tackle and the 9th best offensive tackle.  Gregg Rosenthal from rates him as the 5th best unrestricted free agent this offseason.  The combination of being one of the top players at his position and one of the best overall players available this offseason is likely to mean that he will receive a very lucrative deal.

There are seven tackles in the league that will be paid over $10 million dollars next season.  Since Glenn is ranked between the fifth and tenth best tackles in the league you might infer that $10 million would be a good starting point for negotiations.

At age 26, Glenn is about to enter his prime at one of the most important positions in the NFL.  The average amount he could get paid is around $11-$12 million dollars per year although it could be a bit higher or lower.  It’s not likely that he will be offered more than the highest paid left tackle by average salary, Trent Williams, who makes $13.2 million per season.  If the Bills paid him the same as Williams that would still be less than the $13.7 million cap hit that they would take if Glenn played under the franchise tag in 2016.

The Bills cannot afford to lose Glenn this offseason.  They should apply either the exclusive or non-exclusive franchise tag to Cordy in order to extend the period that they have to negotiate with him.  The worst case scenario is that they can’t agree to a deal and they have to pay him $13.7 million for one season.  That is a fair amount for one of the top offensive tackles in the league.  Once they tag him, the Bills can negotiate towards a long-term deal which should be relatively easy to work out.  This deal could make both parties happy by keeping his 2016 cap hit low while still paying him among the top tackles in the league over the duration of the contract.

What do you think?  Should the Bills use their franchise tag for just the 5th time in team history on Cordy Glenn?