NFL extends deadline for 2020 franchise tags, here's what it means for the Bears

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Earlier today it was announced on Twitter that the NFL has extended the deadline for the 2020 franchise tags. NFL teams will have an extra four days to decide whether they want to apply their franchise tag.

The original deadline was set for Thursday (March 12) at 4 p.m. ET. It has now been bumped back to Monday (March 16) at 11:59 p.m. ET. The shift was caused by team owners who wanted to know the fate of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) extension. The CBA is set to be voted on Saturday (March 14).

Franchise tags are when teams keep certain players off the unrestricted and restricted free agent markets, typically locking them into one-year deals. Tags keep valuable players under a team’s control without having to make a long-term commitment.

There is a small window where teams can franchise tag players, traditionally beginning in February and ending in March ahead of the legal tampering period, where teams are can talk with unrestricted free agents.

If the CBA isn’t extended, teams can’t use the transition tag to keep players. However, they will still be able to use franchise tags. The CBA needs a simple majority vote from the players union members to get extended.

This news is crucial for teams such as the Cowboys and Titans, who are attempting to tag Dak Prescott and Derrick Henry respectively. This gives teams more time to negotiate actual contracts with their impending free agent players, rather than placing a franchise tag.

The Bears haven’t used a tag since assigning Kyle Fuller a transition tag in 2018. As of reporting, it doesn’t appear that the Bears have any franchise or transition tag candidates this offseason, so the extension doesn’t directly impact Chicago. However, how the CBA pans out will impact the free agent market, indirectly altering the Bears options ahead of the 2020 season.

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