Easy franchise tag decision for the Titans.
The Tennessee Titans are now allowed to apply the franchise tag to a player if they want to, and Jonnu Smith is a no-brainer candidate.
Smith, Corey Davis, and Jayon Brown are the Titans “big three” free agents this year. For my money, Corey Davis is the best of the three players and I think that he is the only one whose production you can’t replace in free agency this year (unless you are willing to spend more money that it would have taken to keep him).
Despite that, Smith should get the tag because it is just so much cheaper to tag a tight end than a linebacker or a wide receiver.
Looking at the most recent projections, the difference is going to be somewhere in the ball park of $6 million:
There are some people who look at the cost of a transition tag and think that it makes more sense to use that, but there is a problem with that. A transition tag is cheaper, but if another team offers Jonnu Smith a better deal, then the Titans either have to match that deal or let him walk for no compensation.
That is just too risky for someone who is going to draw as much interest as Smith, which is why I think he is destined for the franchise tag.
So after Smith is tagged, there are really only three scenarios for what happens next.