NFL Franchise tag Browns Jadeveon Clowney David Njoku Cleveland

Slowly but surely, the NFL offseason will come like a freight train beginning with the ability for teams to put the franchise tag on players. That process begins on Tuesday and runs through March 8th, giving teams a chance to control players and negotiate long-term deals while reducing the worry of another team snatching them up at the opening of the league year.

It’s unlikely the Cleveland Browns would tag one of their players, but it could.

The team rarely used any of the labeling mechanisms established through the collective bargaining agreement. Either they managed to re-sign their best players or they didn’t have anyone worthy of being flagged. Nearly a decade ago, Alex Mack center was given the move mark, signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars but had a Cleveland match that show.

Editors from all Wire sites have come together to submit their guesses to all players who can be tagged starting today. Here’s a look at some of the players who could catch the Browns brand’s interest:

T David Ngoku

(Associated Press/David Richard)

The player we picked for the Touchdown Wire piece linked above, Njoku is a unique talent for the Browns. It’s not been long years, often limited by injuries and falls, but he has a huge improvement as a very young player entering his sixth year in the league.

His franchise tag number is also not unreasonable at $10 million. After claiming a trade, firing that agent and declaring that he wanted to stay in Cleveland, Ngoku’s free agency might be very interesting if he wasn’t flagged by Brown.

de Jadivion Clooney

(Associated Press/Nick Cammett)

On the other end of the franchise mark, the cost from the tight end is the defensive end. While Njoku’s tag number would be the second lowest, Clowney’s tag number would only lag behind the quarterback’s number.

Clooney had a good year for Cleveland in 2021 as he delivered exactly what was needed via Miles Jarrett. Unfortunately, his injury history and wear and tear could make him a huge long-term deal risk. Marking it could start more realistic negotiations, but Clowney could also quickly sign a guaranteed $20 million one-year deal as in the tag tender.

Other Free Agents

(AP Photo/ Ron Schwane)

Cleveland doesn’t have a lot of other top tier agents that might deserve the franchise tag but they can have a couple they can use the go tag on if they want to keep it. Although unlikely, here are those players:

  • LB Anthony Walker – Adding a free agent last year, Walker is seen as a great leader and played well when he was on the field in 2021.

  • S Ronnie Harrison – After a very good season in 2020 after taking over the trade, Harrison struggled in a variety of ways in 2021 including covering and some penalties related to restraint. Safety in the NFL is a priority now, so trying to keep Harrison in could be interesting.

Cleveland’s remaining free agents, such as MJ Stewart, Malcolm Smith, and Tac McKinley, might want to keep them almost immediately if one were to be placed on them.

The Browns seem to have two options to mark this season and could do so starting Tuesday. Although unlikely, it will be something to watch over the next couple of weeks.