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RBs lead the way in 2023

The NFL deadline to announce franchise tag players passed on March 7 at 4:00 pm ET.

There were six players tagged with half of them being running backs.

All players were given the non-exclusive franchise tag, which is the most-used among the three tags available. All tags are one-year tenders.

The non-exclusive is the average of the top-5 salaries at a player’s position over the past five seasons, or 120% of his previous salary — whichever is more. The tagged player can still negotiate with other teams, and the current team has the right to match any offer or accept two first-round picks as compensation should the player sign with another team.

The exclusive tag cuts out the player’s right to negotiate. However, that means the pay scale, which is the current average salary versus the average of the past five seasons, increases. Typically quarterbacks receive this type of tag, but one notable player in this tag class did not.

The third tag is the transition tag, which is the average of the top-10 salaries at a position. The original team still has first refusal rights, yet they will receive no compensation if they choose not to match the deal.

Here is a look at the six players tagged ahead of 2023 free agency.

Baltimore Ravens — QB Lamar Jackson

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag on the 2019 NFL MVP. If Baltimore and Jackson fail to negotiate a new deal by July 15, he will earn $32.416 million in 2023. This also means if a team wants Jackson, he is theirs for two first-round picks — pending the Ravens let Jackson leave.

Tag date: March 7

Dallas Cowboys — RB Tony Pollard

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys may be using the non-exclusive franchise tag on Pollard to keep the negotiating window open longer rather than actually paying him $10.091 million in 2023.

Tag date: March 6

Jacksonville Jaguars — TE Evan Engram

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17) pulls in a first down catch while defended by Tennessee Titans cornerback Roger McCreary (21) during the second quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.
Nfl Jacksonville Jaguars At Tennessee Titans
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The former 2017 New York Giants first-round pick gave the Jaguars something to think about with his 73 catches for 766 yards and four touchdowns, all of which were career-highs. Engram gets the non-exclusive franchise tag and will get $11.345 million if he plays under it in 2023.

Tag date: March 6

Las Vegas Raiders — RB Josh Jacobs

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jacobs got the non-exclusive franchise tag and is eligible for the $10.091 million for 2023 if the Raiders fail to negotiate a long-term deal. The NFL rushing champion gained 1,653 yards and scored 12 touchdowns last year.

Tag date: March 6

New York Giants — RB Saquon Barkley

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants’ 2018 first-round pick lived up to his billing with 295 carries for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns through 16 starts. The going rate for running backs in 2023 is $10.091 million under the non-exclusive franchise tag.

Tag date: March 7

Washington Commanders — DT Daron Payne

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington used its non-exclusive franchise tag to ensure they get a bigger window to work out a long-term deal with the former 2018 first-round pick. Payne will earn $18.937 million in 2023 if the tag sticks. The Alabama product generated 64 combined tackles, 11.5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 20 quarterback hits, five pass breakups, a fumble recovery, and a safety through all 17 starts.

Tag date: Feb. 28

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire