Fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to wait at least two more days than they thought they would to potentially find out whether or not Jameis Winston will be back in 2020.
Originally, Tuesday was the first day NFL team’s could apply their franchise tags to players with expiring contracts who they don’t want talking to other teams. However, as of Saturday night, NFL.com’s Grant Gordon reported the league and NFLPA have agreed to delay the start of the franchise tag window, and extend the closing of the same, by two days.
So, now NFL teams can’t tag players until Thursday at the earliest, and will have until March 10th to decide whether or not they’ll apply the tag to players they deem worthy of the price the tag carries.
What sparked the delay and extension? It seems to be tied to the new collective bargaining agreement presented to the player’s association by the NFL owners.
The new CBA as it stands includes an extension to a 17-game regular season along with a decrease in pre-season games, padded practices and an expanded playoff field. Fans and media have had mixed reviews of the ideas presented in these ideas, which could go into effect as early as this year.
Players however, have had a less than warm reaction, including notable stars like J.J. Watt and Richard Sherman.
Hard no on that proposed CBA.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 21, 2020
Leadership! I am with you! Please communicate with your team rep. https://t.co/JucZbwqoa2— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 21, 2020
There’s a lot more on the table outside of games and practices as players and owners work to come to financial matters and other hot-button topics like drug testing and punishment for violations specifically related to marijuana.
Fear and doubt have been mounting as this offer from the owners came quickly with the 2020 league year on the horizon, that if the players association didn’t agree to the owners’ ideas there might be a work stoppage in 2021. However, the players association decided to not even vote on the matter, instead arranging a follow-up round of discussions this Tuesday in Indianapolis.
Any talks are good talks for now, as it was previously felt the owners would give little to no wiggle room in relation to adjusting the proposed criteria for establishing a new deal for 2020 and beyond.
Hearing NFL players are being told that there’s not much negotiation here. That this is the deal the owners are presenting and if they don’t take it, it’s strike/lockout next year. Billionaires are in a better position than millionaires. Do the players fold?— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 21, 2020
If the tag window were to open without a new agreement in place, then NFL teams would be allowed to leverage their franchise tag, and their transition tag. If a new CBA is accepted before then, it’s most likely the new deal would include limiting team’s to using just one of those tags.
Of course, this impacts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers greatly in an off-season where big decisions have to be made involving quarterback Jameis Winston and outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett.
Both players figure to play big roles in what the Bucs do in 2020 should they return, and each will leave a big hole to fill if they were to depart Tampa in free-agency.
Tagging either Winston or Barrett all but guarantees the other will enter free-agency unencumbered and able to seek out any deal with any team, and no assurances the Buccaneers would have an opportunity to match or beat the offer.
While the eyes of Bucs fans wait to see what will happen with many matters, these latest moves involving the CBA and the meetings set to occur on Tuesday, hold the biggest stone when it comes to the ripples which will make landfall in Tampa, Florida.