The NFL is just a crazy guessing game. For months, the two receivers most everyone thought would be receiving the franchise tag were Jaguars’ Allen Robinson and Rams’ Sammy Watkins. And now with just hours before the franchise tag deadline it’s become clear neither will be slapped with the tag.
The Rams opted to use the franchise tag to hold onto CB LaMarcus Joyner instead of Watkins. While the Jaguars have informed Robinson that he won’t be receiving the tag, according to Ian Rapoport.
These decisions have thrust the two potential top free agent wide receivers headed toward the open market.
This isn’t automatic, of course. Free agency doesn’t start until March 14 with the negotiating period to begin March 12. Either team could work out a long term deal before that. But the franchise tag would have guaranteed the player would have no choice in the matter. Now should they turn down contract offers from their team, they will become available in free agency.
It’s funny because, when Robins and Watkins figured to be retained with the franchise tag, it was Jarvis Landry who was the top talent headed for free agency, and he WAS slapped with the tag as the Dolphins are looking to move him in a trade. Go figure.
Along with Robinson and Watkins, the upcoming wide receiver free agent class will feature Marqise Lee, Paul Richardson, Mike Wallace, Danny Amendola, Jordan Matthews, and Donte Moncrief. There could also be a couple good cap casualties to join them.
Adding a receiver would be good for the Raiders and the market will have some talent available in order to do that.