The deadline for NFL teams to place the franchise tag on players is 3:00 PM Central time this afternoon. With the deadline approaching, three teams have chosen to use the franchise tag on tight ends, which could open up the market for a current member of the Minnesota Vikings to seek his fortune elsewhere.
The franchise tag number for tight ends is just shy of $11 million, and these three teams have chosen to retain their own tight ends by using the tag.
- Cleveland Browns - Used the tag on David Njoku
- Dallas Cowboys - Used the tag on Dalton Schultz
- Miami Dolphins - Used the tag on Mike Gesicki
With those three top tight ends officially off the market, it would seemingly open the door for Tyler Conklin to leave for greener pastures.
Stepping up in the absence of Irv Smith Jr. after he suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason finale, Conklin put together a very nice season in his first year as the primary tight end in the Minnesota offense. He caught 61 passes for 593 yards and three touchdowns on the season.
With the Vikings looking at some salary cap issues that need to be resolved, Conklin is likely going to end up being a luxury that they can’t afford. That means hoping that either second-year tight end Zach Davidson is ready to make a significant leap in 2022 or using a draft choice on a tight end that will likely be expected to step up and contribute right away.
We’re about a week and a half away from the start of free agency, folks, and it sounds like we should start bracing ourselves for the departure of Tyler Conklin to another team this offseason.