Tag! You’re it! [2024]

Lamar Jackson

The 2024 DFL season is officially underway as the new league year kicked off on June 1 with salaries paid and franchise tags locked in.

There were 18 franchise tags handed out with only one of them being an EFT, which means there will be a good deal of talented players hitting the open market looking to get paid.

Let’s take a look at who received the guaranteed lucrative paychecks.

Exclusive Franchise Tags (1)

Lamar Jackson, QB/BAL — Greece ($10.9)

The NFL’s MVP holds the honor as the only DFL player to receive the EFT in 2024, guaranteeing him a 1-year deal worth $10.9 million, making him the second-highest paid quarterback in the league behind Sint Maarten’s Patrick Mahomes ($14.0). Jackson will make Greece dangerous each and every week of the 2024 season.

Non-exclusive Franchise Tags (9)

Ja’Marr Chase, WR/CIN — South Africa ($11.2)

Chase earned a 2-year contract worth $26 million per season two years ago from the Ballstrikers, and now he’ll get to test the market once more. Will he command as much money this time around? It’s hard to say how much a team is willing to splurge, but the Ballstrikers will have the final say on if he’s going anywhere, and those chances are slim.

Jonathan Taylor, RB/IND — Australia ($10.0)

Taylor was the league’s first-ever player signing in the 2022 DFL Auction, and he was also the league’s most expensive player ever at $31 million. He took about a third of a pay cut after a disastrous 2022 season in which he massively underperformed that contract. Now, he once again will be tagged by the Blue Heelers but be allowed to test the market to see what he can bring in.

CeeDee Lamb, WR/DAL — Papua New Guinea ($11.2)

Lamb was the league’s No. 1 wide receiver in 2023 and one of the biggest factors in the Pigs’ championship run. He’ll be a hot commodity in the NFT Auction and likely will bring in double what his tag value is. He’s a franchise changer.

A.J. Brown, WR/PHI — Kazakhstan ($11.2)

The Very Nice Team would like to keep Brown around, especially as they let Deebo Samuel walk via free agency. But Brown’s explosive playmaking skills will be in demand and the No. 5 receiver from a year ago ought to bring in a pretty penny.

Christian McCaffrey, RB/SF — Greece ($10.0)

McCaffrey has put in two consecutive seasons of being healthy after back-to-back seasons of injury, thus there will be plenty of owners willing to pony up for one of the most explosive running backs the league has seen in recent memory. He was the league’s No. 1 running back by a wide margin last year, outscoring Breece Hall by more than 100 points. His salary likely will hit the mid-20s.

Stefon Diggs, WR/HOU — Bolivia ($11.2)

Diggs had what could be considered a disappointing season for him last year, but still finished at WR9 overall. His situation has changed this offseason and he could find himself in store for target competition. There could be some action on him, but with an uncertain future, I’m not sure how high his asking price will go.

Isiah Pacheco, RB/KC — Peru ($10.0)

Pacheco was a higher-end RB2 last year but has his arrow pointing up for 2024. With little touch competition, he has RB1 capability written all over him. Pacheco should draw plenty of attention from RB-needy teams.

Dak Prescott, QB/DAL — Colombia ($6.5)

With a dominant receiver like CeeDee Lamb catching passes from him, Prescott exploded last year and finished as QB3 overall. The Capybaras have Tua Tagovailoa and second-year stud C.J. Stroud also on their roster, but they’re willing to solidify the position with Prescott unless some other team is willing to pry him away.

Kyren Williams, RB/LAR — Ireland ($10.0)

Williams had a breakout season last year and now he’s going to get paid handsomely for it. Williams finished as the No. 7 running back in his 2023 campaign and will be looking for long-term security. Will the added competition to the running back room give any owners pause?

Transition Tags (8)

Nick Chubb, RB/CLE — South Africa ($7.7)

Chubb has been one of the best running backs in the league for years before his season was cut short with a brutal knee injury last year. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets much action in the auction, or if the injury will scare teams away.

Davante Adams, WR/LV — Saint Kitts & Nevis ($9.2)

It is interesting that Adams still finished as a low-end WR1 last year despite bad quarterback play and an overall bad offense. Adams is getting up there in age, so I can’t image him drawing much higher of a salary on the open market. The Shockers didn’t seem all too interested in Adams’ services after they put him on the trade block immediately after acquiring him from Peru this offseason, so we’ll see if they get rid of him before the auction or are willing to match the highest bidder for his services.

Josh Allen, QB/BUF — Papua New Guinea ($4.9)

Allen has been a stalwart of the Pigs offense for the past couple years now and he will hit the open market with just the Transition Tag giving the Pigs matching rights to bring him back into the fold. Allen has seen a lot of change around him so there will be a lot of uncertainty swirling when teams are deciding how much to invest in him.

Joe Burrow, QB/CIN — Ireland ($4.9)

Burrow struggled through injuries last year and saw his play suffer because of it. Eventually, he was lost for the season in Week 11. He’s too talented a quarterback, with too many good pieces around him, not to rebound and succeed. He’ll likely draw interested suitors this offseason.

Derrick Henry, RB/BAL — Australia ($7.7)

Henry heads to a very ideal situation this offseason and the only thing that is really uncertain is will he hit that inevitable age wall that all running backs do? If he stays healthy, it’s impossible not to see him succeed in his new surroundings and there will be teams vying for his services in the DFL Auction this year.

David Montgomery, RB/DET — Greece ($7.7)

Montgomery is part of a two-headed monster of a backfield and he could be the goal line back if he stays healthy. Or, he could lose more touches to the younger, more explosive Jahmyr Gibbs. It’ll be interesting to see how he’s deployed this year, and even more intriguing if Monty gets any other offers.

David Njoku, TE/CIN — Colombia ($7.2)

It took Njoku a while to finally hit his stride, but he finished as the TE6 overall last year. A lot of his production came with Joe Flacco at the helm, so we’ll see if he can repeat his 2023 performance. With so many teams looking for tight end help, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Njoku get some offers.

Evan Engram, TE/JAX — Kazakhstan ($7.2)

Engram finished as the TE2 last year just a year after finishing as the TE5. Any thoughts about him being a one-year wonder were seemingly put to rest after the 2023 season. Again, with TE-needy teams looking for playmakers, Engram could receive some action.