The Atlanta Falcons won't use the franchise tag this off-season. Teams who wish to use the franchise tag have until Wednesday to negotiate long-term deals. After that, they are required to pay the franchise tag amount.
News broke a couple days ago about suspected collusion between the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos regarding their "franchise players," Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas. Both were hit with the franchise tag this off-season. Obviously Bryant and Thomas want new contracts instead, and both men will eventually get new, long-term contracts. Whether it's with their current teams remains to be seen.
So how does this affect the Falcons? The answer: it depends. Bryant's hypothetical contract and Thomas' hypothetical contract impact Jones' potential contract. Odds are neither man inks a long-term deal before Wednesday. But, if for some reason a long-term deal is successfully negotiated by either Bryant or Thomas, it will undoubtedly affect how the Falcons proceed with Jones. You can bet that Jones' agent is keeping a close eye on this impending deadline, with an eye towards acting in his client's best interest. If no deal gets done, that could set a precedent for Jones. If a deal gets done, Jones' present market value might tick up a notch or two.
Dave will have more information about the status of Jones' contract negotiations in the coming days. And to be frank, Jones has been nothing but classy about this entire process. In short, I'm not expecting any shenanigans, no matter what happens this week. But Wednesday's deadline is definitely something to keep an eye on. Your thoughts?