Franchise tag and transition tag windows open for Chicago Bears and NFL

Chicago Bears - Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /

Today is the first day of the operating window for NFL teams to franchise tag or transition tag players. The Chicago Bears are one team that is patiently waiting to hear who is likely to receive a franchise tag. With the most salary cap space heading into the free agency period, the Bears are going to be heavily interested in many players. The hope is that a few top-tier guys fall through and become available.

The one player that fans want to see slip through the cracks is Daron Payne. Payne could be the 3-technique that the Chicago Bears need. He’s still only 26 and is proven in the league. The problem is that Washington is probably going to franchise-tag him. There is a sliver of hope that they don’t tag or extend him, but it’s not a lock.

The Chicago Bears do not have many, if any, players worthy of the franchise tag

If we look at the Chicago Bears roster, there isn’t really anyone worth tagging. David Montgomery is arguably the only one worthy of receiving the franchise tag, but he’s not worth the $10 million dollars (tag number) that would come with it. If I were the Bears, I am only bringing Montgomery back on a deal worth $8 million dollars per year or less.

A few other names that the Chicago Bears are probably interested in when it comes to the franchise tag are Saquan Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Orlando Brown, Jr., and Tony Pollard. Geno Smith could be an interesting one the Bears keep an eye on too as if he isn’t re-signed or tagged, the Seahawks could become another team in the top 10 that Ryan Poles could trade back within the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft as they look for a new quarterback.

The franchise tag window is now open, but teams have until March 7, 2023, to make that decision. There are not many teams that are going to actually tag their players this early. Most teams will be negotiating extensions in hopes of not having to use the tag. It won’t be until closer to the seventh or even on the final day that some of these players will be tagged. Then, free agency will open shortly after on March 15, 2023 — the “legal-tampering” period will open on March 13, 2023.

Things are about to get interesting really quickly. Expect to hear more informed rumors soon as the NFL Combine will heat up the rumor mill.