- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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We’ve written a lot about Drew Brees and the franchise tag.
But the New Orleans quarterback wasn’t the only player hit with the franchise tag before the start of free agency, although Brees was the only one designated with the exclusive-rights franchise tag. But he was one of a record 21 players to be designated as a franchise player.
Here’s a good overview of how things have played out so far with franchise tags. Brees is one of nine players that still has not signed a franchise tender or worked out a long-term deal. But he’s the only one from the NFC South to fall into that category.
Two other division teams used the tag, but that hasn’t resulted in the kind of problems that Brees and the Saints have had. Brees has stayed out of the offseason program, and the deadline for him to work out a long-term contract is July 16.
Tampa Bay kicker Connor Barth also was designated as a franchise player, but he and the Bucs agreed to a four-year deal worth $13.2 million. Four other franchise players around the league have worked out long-term deals.
Atlanta cornerback Brent Grimes doesn’t have a long-term deal, but he has signed his tender for $10.281 million. Grimes could end up playing for that amount this season, but it still is possible for him and the Falcons to agree to a long-term contract. Six other players around the league have signed their franchise tenders.