The Carolina Panthers have had an interesting history with the franchise tag in recent years, but that’s not likely to be the case this year. Mainly, because they’re not expected to use it. Tuesday is the first day NFL teams can apply the tag to players, a window that closes March 6 – about a week before the start of free agency. The tag allows teams to prevent a player from becoming a free agent, but forces them to commit to a one-year guaranteed contract determined by the five-year average of the highest-paid players at each position. Teams can only tag one player a year. But while Carolina has several key players eligible for free agency, industry experts don’t think it makes financial sense for the Panthers to take on an inflated price tag on any of them for one season. Left guard Andrew Norwell is the biggest name among the Panthers’ 12 potential free agents. Norwell, who joined the Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2014, increased his value with an All-Pro season in 2017. Interim general manager Marty Hurney invested heavily at the guard position last summer when he signed Pro Bowler Trai Turner to a four-year, $45 million extension, with $20.5 million guaranteed.
Guard Andrew Norwell among Carolina Panthers’ top franchise tag candidates for 2018
Charlotte Observer | Feb 20