The NFL has announced an extension to the deadline for teams to designate a player under the franchise or transition tags for the 2020 season. Initially Thursday at 4 PM, the new deadline will be Monday, March 16 at 11:59 AM. At noon on Monday, the legal tampering period begins for NFL unrestricted free agents.
New timeline for the NFL week ahead:— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 10, 2020
Saturday, 11:59 p.m.: Players' vote on proposed CBA ends
Monday, 11:59:59 a.m.: Franchise/transition tag deadline
Monday, noon: Negotiating window opens
Wednesday 3/18, 4 p.m.: League year and free agency begin
The moving of the deadline to use one of the tag designations is very important to the Steelers. While some have reported the Steelers plan on using the franchise tag on unrestricted free agent Bud Dupree, the Steelers are in an interesting salary cap position in order to use the more than $16 million it would take. If the proposed CBA is passed, the Steelers could have other options available in order to be salary cap compliant by the 4 PM deadline on Wednesday. If not, the team’s only other real option is to release several players.
The deadline for NFLPA members to vote on the proposed collective bargaining agreement was originally this Thursday at 11:59 PM EST. In order to allow players more time to review the 456-page document, the deadline was extended to Saturday night at the same time. It was reported several players had asked if they could change their vote after further consideration, but the option is not available. While some players have come out adamantly for or against the proposal, it is assumed the majority of players will wait as they continue dissect all the information before casting their vote.
If the proposed CBA is not accepted, NFL teams may use both the franchise and transition tags for the 2020 season. With the Steelers so tight up against the salary cap, using one tag is enough of a stretch let alone using both. Therefore, this rule is not anticipated to affect the Steelers for the 2020 season.
For Steeler fans, the biggest thing the deadline extension will bring is more waiting as we anticipate what the Steelers do when it comes to the franchise tag for the 2020 season.