Target Not Tag For Mosley

Target Not Tag For Mosley
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Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Monday that the Baltimore Ravens won’t use the franchise tag on inside linebacker C.J. Mosley. So, what is the franchise tag and what does this mean for Mosley and the Ravens?

The franchise tag is a one-year offer for an amount:

a) No less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position over the last five years


b) 120 percent of his previous salary

whichever is greater.

Although it’s possible for the player to negotiate with other teams, the current team has the right to match any offer. Should the team not match the competing offer, they receive the teams next two allocated first-round draft picks as compensation. Obviously, this is a significant investment and generally means that franchised players remain with the team for at least a year. The franchise tag can be used on the same player more than once, as has happened with DeMarcus Lawrence in Dallas.

Not using the franchise tag, the value of which would have been $15.443 million, means that Mosley and his agent will be out of contract and able to negotiate with all 32 teams. However, it doesn’t exclude him resigning with Baltimore if he feels they offer the best deal.

Mosley, a first round in 2014, has played at a consistently high level since entering the league. He’s been selected to four Pro Bowls in his five seasons and has recorded 100 tackles in every year that he’s played 16 games. The former Alabama has a nose for the ball too with an impressive 9 interceptions and 6 forced fumbles.

The Ravens would love to retain their star linebacker, who is still only 26. The competing need need to restock the offence with playmakers around new starting quarterback LaMarr Jackson limits the amount of cap space the team are willing to invest. Head coach John Harbaugh made the team’s intentions clear when commented in January that “There are limitations with the money, but C.J. wants to be back and we want him back,”.

With all 32 teams open to him where will Mosley call home in 2019? I suggested one possible landing spot earlier in the year:

Logical landing spot: Cincinnati Bengals

One of the stars of the Ravens and a team leader, it’s highly unlikely he leaves Baltimore, but he’d be an instant upgrade to the middle of the division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals. Mosley excels in coverage and rushing the passer whilst also being a solid tackler and earned his third successive Pro Bowl this year. With Defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap occupying blockers Mosley would be free to play sideline to sideline and upgrade a woeful line backing corp.

One thing is for sure, a talented player like Mosley will have multiple suitors.

Jonathan Cumbleton writes about the AFC North for Ninety-Nine Yards, covering the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers and also covers the AAF. He is a Philadelphia Eagles fan who has followed the game since 1990. You can follow more of his writing on Twitter @Cumbleton.

Picture Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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