Reports that the NFL and NFLPA might be closing in on a new collective bargaining agreement came as a surprise earlier on Wednesday.
Among the topics, the NFL is planning for a 17-game regular season and a new playoff format to start next season.
However, there are other short-term implications. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, a new CBA being signed ahead of March 18 (the start of the new league year) would prevent teams from being able to use the franchise tag.
This is no small thing. Stars such as Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill, among others, would be impacted if that came to fruition.
NFL teams typically use the dreaded franchise tag to avoid seeing their top-end players hit the open market.
If that’s not going to be the case this offseason, it’s going to lead to chaos on the free-agent market once March 18 comes calling.