How Will the Cleveland Browns Use the Franchise Tag?

As of today, NFL teams are allowed to use their one franchise tag, preventing the loss of a coveted player through free agency. For the Cleveland Browns, linebacker D’Qwell Jackson is the likely choice to receive the tag, but only if the team can’t get him signed to a long-term deal.

Kicker Phil Dawson is another possible candidate for the franchise tag. He has been seeking a long-term deal for quite some time, and the Browns franchised him last season. But his reliability is something the Browns can’t pass up, and if Jackson is signed to a new deal, Dawson could very well receive the tag again.

That’s the dilemma the Browns currently face. If the Browns can’t franchise tag Dawson, he is likely gone to another team, and he will certainly be missed. He was 24-of-29 on field goals in 2011, and his eight field goals beyond 50 yards was tied for most in the NFL.

Jackson, who finished second in Comeback Player of the Year voting, will be back with the Browns no matter what. How he comes back determines some of the Browns’ other offseason plans. If he receives the franchise tag, he will make a salary of $8.8 million. Should Dawson get the tag, he will make about $3.8 million, which is a raise over his 2011 salary ($3.175 million).

Teams have until March 5 to decide what to do with the franchise tag. The NFL’s free agency period begins on March 13.

Topics: Cleveland Browns, D'Qwell Jackson, Franchise Tag, Phil Dawson

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  • Flash60

    Agreed JACKSON is the number one free agent concern and if needed using the franchise tag if necessary is the right move.

    Dawson is a whole different issue. His field goal percentage is excellent but if the Browns are not williing to add a second kicker that can send kickoffs out of the endzone then we are losing field position on most kickoffs. The kickoff rule changes hurt Cleveland last year because most other kickers blast the ball for a touchback. Dawson’s percentage of touchbacks is very low in comparison. I am a Dawson fan and if we had a multi-use player that can kick the long ball, doesn’t have to be accurately but keep it in the field of play, then we can sign Dawson to a longer deal to keep the points adding up. I’ll bet we already have someone on the team that can do that.

    Another thing to think about for the second choice of the franchise tag is, you guessed it, PEYTON HILLIS. This would give us another year to decide if he is worth the big bucks for a descent long term contract. Other teams take care of their number one runner and so should the Browns. That’s only if a contract can not be agreed on this year.