The tight end class in 2022 NFL free agency is filled with notable names. However a pair of standouts — the Dolphins’ Mike Gesicki and the Browns’ David Njoku — may obtain the franchise tag forward of the March 8 deadline, leaving the remainder of the group to money in on long-term offers.
Mike Gesicki and David Njoku might be franchise tagged
Each Gesicki and Njoku are seen as candidates to be franchise-tagged by their respective groups forward of subsequent week’s deadline, a league supply who was granted anonymity advised Professional Soccer Community on Monday. The tag is valued at round $11 million for tight ends this season.
In line with the supply, $11 million “is a really cheap quantity within the present tight finish market.” If both participant had been to be tagged, their golf equipment would have further time and leverage to work out a long-term deal.
Are Njoku and Gesicki well worth the tag?
In line with Spotrac, Gesicki’s annual worth is true across the $11 million mark. That annual common would place him sixth amongst tight ends. It might additionally put him in worthy rivalry of the franchise tag. The Dolphins have a league-leading $60.2 million in projected wage cap area, so he’d match effectively inside that whole, even on the tag.
Gesicki has improved his numbers yearly all through his rookie contract. Final season, he caught 73 passes for 780 yards and a pair of touchdowns. At 26, Gesicki is simply getting into his prime. He’s ranked as PFN NFL analyst Dalton Miller’s 22nd-best free agent this offseason.
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Njoku, however, is projected at a $6.7 million annual worth, in response to Spotrac. That worth is effectively beneath the franchise tag slot for tight ends. Njoku has tag-teamed with Austin Hooper over the previous two seasons. Hooper signed a five-year, $44 million deal in 2020.
Njoku, a 2017 first-round choose, has taken a backseat to Hooper on offense. The Browns additionally drafted red-zone weapon Harrison Bryant within the fourth spherical in 2020. Njoku caught 36 passes for 475 yards and 4 touchdowns final season.
If Njoku and Gesicki are off the board, groups will nonetheless have loads of choices at tight finish. Zach Ertz of the Arizona Cardinals, Dalton Schultz of the Dallas Cowboys, and C.J. Uzomah of the Cincinnati Bengals might be among the many notable names left in the marketplace.
Of that trio, Schultz might be the most probably to both set the market or earn a top-five wage on the place. Simply 25, Schultz is coming off back-to-back stellar campaigns. He caught 78 passes for 808 yards and eight touchdowns final yr. That efficiency appears even higher when in comparison with Njoku’s 2021 output.
The Eagles traded Ertz to the Cardinals in October. He proved to be a dependable goal for Kyler Murray down the stretch of the season, and he bounced again after a forgettable last 18 months in Philly. Ertz completed the season with 74 catches for 763 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Uzomah was among the many unstated heroes within the Bengals’ run to the Tremendous Bowl. In 2021, he recorded 49 catches for 493 yards and 5 touchdowns. His work through the postseason run must also assist his outlook in the marketplace.
Different names to look at on the tight finish market embrace Robert Tonyan of the Inexperienced Bay Packers, Evan Engram of the New York Giants, and Tyler Conklin of the Minnesota Vikings.