Baltimore Ravens want to avoid using franchise tag on C.J. Mosley
In a perfect world, C.J. Mosley gets paid, but not overpaid by the Baltimore Ravens. The franchise tag isn’t the perfect world solution Eric DeCosta would be looking for:
C.J. Mosley is one of the Baltimore Ravens most important players. He’s one of the central figures that makes up the number one defense in the NFL. Mosley has made it to four Pro Bowls. The Ravens linebacker is a big name and he’s going to get paid very well. This much is a certainty. If he hits the open market without a deal from the Ravens, the highest bidder could take him away.
The franchise tag becomes a real option for the Ravens. It would be a way to keep a player they took in the first round, who has been a key starter since his rookie year. The franchise tag isn’t cheap though. According to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, the linebacker tag was set to $12.81 million last year.
The situation with the tag is simple. You keep the player for another season at anything but a bargain and then this time next year you are faced with the same decision.
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It’s not ideal for DeCosta and the Ravens because it’s an expensive short term solution. It isn’t ideal for Mosley because, while he is getting the average of a top 5 salary at his position, he doesn’t have the security of a long-term contract.
The Ravens have already started to work on bringing back Mosley with a long-term deal according to reports. Mosley has no incentive to hurry, even if he desperately wants to remain a Raven. Mosley’s salary is only going up with competition from other teams. Mosley would be doing himself a disservice to rush to a long-term deal. If DeCosta was to manage a pre-free agency contract, it would be a massive win for the Ravens and Mosley may not get his full market value.
The Ravens have gotten good at avoiding the placement of the franchise tag, and they use it as a last case resort. They have a long history of working deals out at the last minute, locking up their core players. The question really becomes how much of a core player is Mosley?
Spotrac.com has calculated Mosley’s market value to be an average of $9.7 million per season. Their suggested contract is 5 years and about $49 million per year. Assuming the franchise tag is close to last year’s price, it would pay Mosley well over what his perceived market value is. The franchise tag shouldn’t be used unless the Ravens deem Mosley an irreplaceable key to the puzzle. Even then, it’s not a good deal for Baltimore.