It’s officially crunch time. With the July 17 deadline breathing down their necks, there are currently no deals in sight for Kirk Cousins, Le’Veon Bell or Trumaine Johnson.
With Monday's 4 pm deadline to sign franchise players looming, no deals close for Kirk Cousins, Le'Veon Bell, Trumaine Johnson at this time.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 16, 2017
All three of these men were slapped with the franchise tag, though only Bell has yet to sign his. If they don’t have long-term deals inked before the deadline, then they will be forced to play out the 2017 NFL season on their franchise tags.
Bell could potentially sit out training camp (or longer) in protest if he doesn’t get his contract and doesn’t sign his franchise tag. It’s something that’s been reported as a possibility, though it won’t serve any real purpose other than as a show of displeasure and to protect Bell from injury during camp.
That there is no deal in sight for Cousins isn’t surprising at all. It’s been widely reported for a while now that he’s not going to sign a long-term deal with Washington and is angling for a reunion with San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan next year.
Trumaine Johnson (due to make more than $16 million on his tag) was not expected to land a long-term deal this offseason. The Rams have bigger fish to fry in the form of Aaron Donald, who really could hold out of training camp for a new contract.
We’d be shocked if all three weren’t in camp with their teams in the coming weeks. Given the fact that franchise tags offer fully guaranteed contracts, they have little reason not to attend.