By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)
Today, I will be bringing you a double dose of NFL news. First, like I do every year, I’m going to break down the big events on the NFL schedule. I usually do this article a little earlier in the season, but it makes sense to have it this week as well. Given that this is being published later than usual, some of these events will have already happened by the time you are reading this. That’s okay. The facts and points that I state still remain true and important for everyone playing in a dynasty fantasy football league with real NFL salaries and a salary cap, like Dynasty Owner. Within each of these events, I will break down some of the major news surrounding them.
Franchise and Transition Tag Period
February 21 – March 7
As you know, this time period has come and gone. All franchise and transition tags have been dealt out, and no more can be given until next year. But remember, just because a player signs a franchise tag, that doesn’t mean they cannot continue to negotiate with their current team for a long-term deal. In the same way, signing a franchise tag does not mean that the player cannot be traded. Remember last year Davante Adams ($28,000,000) was offered the franchise tag by the Packers a week before being traded to the Raiders.
For our purposes here at Dynasty Owner, there were five players who received a franchise tag in 2023. They are…
- Lamar Jackson ($32,416,000)
- Saquon Barkley ($10,091,000)
- Tony Pollard ($10,091,000)
- Josh Jacobs ($10,091,000)
- Evan Engram ($11,345,000)
All five of these players “should” be returning to their previous teams and playing on the salaries listed here. I say the word “should” for three reasons. The first reason is that as I have already shown a player can be traded to a new team despite signing a franchise tag. Do I anticipate that to happen this year? I don’t, but of course it is possible. The second reason I say “should” is a little more complicated so I will explain it.
Before the tag deadline ended, Lamar Jackson was presented with a non-exclusive franchise tag. A non-exclusive franchise tag says that Jackson is allowed to continue to negotiate a contract with any other team that he wants. These negotiations could even lead to an offer. However, that offer must be brought back to the Ravens and they get a first right of refusal where they can either match the offer or decline it. If declined, the Ravens would be entitled to two first round picks in the future. Essentially, the Ravens are betting on the idea that Lamar will not receive a long-term offer from another team. This situation has many more layers that I’m not going to get into today, but let’s just say there are a wide range of outcomes for Lamar this season.
While it’s safe to assume that all the other four players on this list will be playing on their franchise tag in this upcoming season, there is one additional outcome. All of them, including Lamar, could receive a long-term contract extension from their current NFL team before the July 15th deadline for those extensions. This happened last year for David Njoku ($13,875,000) who was given the franchise tag by the Browns, then signed a 4-year, $54.75 million contract extension in late May. Should this happen to any of the five 2023 franchise tag players, the average salary from the new long-term contract extension will replace the franchise tag salary amount starting in the 2023 Dynasty Owner season.
February 28 – March 6
The NFL Combine has also come and gone. I enjoy casually watching it every year, but I don’t get too involved with every player and every drill. For a much better breakdown than I could give, I would direct your attention to Nate Christian’s most recent article for Dynasty Owner. In it, he breaks down how six of the top prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft did.
Compensatory Draft Picks
Thursday March 9th is the date when the compensatory draft picks were awarded to NFL teams.
“These picks are based off of a measured and calculated formula. This formula looks at free agents that certain teams lost throughout the year that they were not ‘adequately compensated’ for. Essentially, the NFL calculates each team’s gained and lost value and then compares this to every other team. Picks are awarded accordingly. This doesn’t affect us as Dynasty Owners directly, but it has the potential to add picks to some of our favorite teams.”
(Originally written on 2/23/21)
As I mentioned, this only indirectly affects Dynasty Owners, but I did want to point out something unique. The 49ers far and away had the most compensatory picks given to them this year. They have seven total, and three of those are in the 3rd round (99, 101, 102). These picks were awarded for the fact that the 49ers had previous minority employees who were hired as a GM or head coach by another team. Again, this isn’t directly related to our teams at Dynasty Owner, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
NFL Free Agency Contact Begins
“There are strict rules in the NFL (like most sports) about how and when a player may be contacted about a possible contract. Up until this date, teams are prohibited from contacting free agents. Again, this may not mean much to us as Dynasty Owners other than the fact that we will probably be getting a heavy amount of rumors flying during this 48 hour period.”
(Originally wrote 2/23/21)
We may actually see quite a few deals get done between March 13th and the official start of free agency on March 15th as NFL teams look to get players signed before other teams have a chance to make competing offers. Honestly, these couple of days are some of the most exciting for the entire year.
New NFL League Year and Free Agency Begins
This is what many of us have been waiting for. It’s also what every NFL team has been waiting for. March 15th is the official start of the new NFL league year. Signings and trades will become official. and we all will look forward to a great 2023 season.
Dynasty Owner New League Year
The Dynasty Owner league year will officially begin on March 17th at Noon (Eastern).
“On the 1st day of the new league year, all of the contract extensions from the previous year and the new salary cap for that league year take effect to align with the start of NFL free agency….Once the New Dynasty Owner league year has changed and the salary cap has been updated, you will be given 30 days (March 17th – April 16th) to get under the updated salary cap. We do not allow your salaries to continue to increase once you are over the salary cap.”
(From the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution for 2023)
2023 NFL Draft
April 27 – 29
Speaking of best times of the year…this has to rank up there for everyone. The NFL Draft is the pinnacle of off-season excitement. I look forward to watching it again this year as I do every year.
As you can see, despite being the “off-season” this is a very busy time of year for NFL teams and Dynasty Owners. One could argue these are some of the most important weeks. Take this as a reminder of something that I often repeat and truly believe.
“There is no off-season in dynasty fantasy football.”
This is especially true for Dynasty Owners. Be active every day, even during the off-season.
Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Thank you all. Take care and be safe.