Tracking the franchise tags: Ryan Clady signs, Branden Albert fails to get deal done
Eight players were handed the franchise-tag designation by their respective teams this offseason: Branden Albert, Jairus Byrd, Ryan Clady, Michael Johnson, Pat McAfee, Henry Melton, Anthony Spencer and Randy Starks. Those players had until Monday afternoon to turn those one-year tag tenders into contracts that run beyond 2013.
Only Clady and the Broncos managed to get anything done before the clock ran out, meaning the other seven players could hit free agency after the 2013 season. Here’s an updated look at where everyone stands, as of late Monday afternoon:
• Branden Albert, OT, Chiefs: Signed franchise-tag tender ($9.828 million). Albert seemed to be closest, other than Ryan Clady, to locking down a long-term deal. Instead, these discussions never really got anywhere, meaning Albert will play out his contract and could hit free agency next offseason.
• Jairus Byrd, S, Bills: Tagged; yet to sign tender ($6.916 million). Byrd’s contract demands proved too much for the Bills, so the safety will work now on a one-year window. Since he has not signed his tender, however, he could hold out through at least training camp — and possibly into the regular season — to avoid injury.
• Ryan Clady, OT, Broncos: Agreed to five-year, $52.5 million contract. The anchor of the Broncos’ offensive line will be sticking around for awhile. Clady and the Broncos came to terms on Sunday night.
• Michael Johnson, DE, Bengals: Signed franchise-tag tender ($11.175 million). There was no real progress between Johnson and the Bengals leading up to Monday, and the Bengals defensive end sounded resigned to hitting free agency next offseason. Right on cue, the deadline came and went without any movement. Cincinnati has several key players on the verge of becoming free agents after 2013, including DT Geno Atkins.
• Pat McAfee, P, Colts: Signed franchise-tag tender ($2.977 million). The tag price for kickers and punters makes McAfee a relative bargain for 2013. Though he would have preferred to avoid playing out this season under that one-year deal, the Colts had little need to explore further negotiations.
• Henry Melton, DT, Bears: Signed franchise-tag tender ($8.45 million). Melton signed his tender way back in March — eliminating the possibility of a holdout. A second franchise tag for Melton, prior to next season, would cost the Bears about $10.1 million. Melton told the Chicago Tribune on Monday that no contract was forthcoming, meaning that he and the Bears will have to revisit the situation next summer.
• Anthony Spencer, OLB, Cowboys: Signed franchise-tag tender ($10.627 million). Spencer’s tender is elevated because this is the second straight year he’s been tagged by the Cowboys. A long-term deal was unlikely to pay Spencer more than what he’s set to receive, so his motivation to sign anything else was minimal.
• Randy Starks, DT, Dolphins: Signed franchise-tag tender ($8.45 million). Starks badly wanted a new contract, but his situation also never really moved forward all that much. Starks skipped voluntary offseason workouts, then showed for mandatory minicamp.