The NFL offseason is in full swing, with the deadline to use the franchise or transition tag on players who could become free agents having now officially passed.
The tags are useful tools for clubs to give them a longer exclusive negotiating window with someone they believe to be an essential part of their roster. Using the tag doesn't guarantee that a player will be back with his previous team, though.
For instance, in 2016, the Carolina Panthers rescinded the franchise tag on Josh Norman to make him an unrestricted free agent. Things still worked out for Norman, who secured a five-year, $75 million contract from Washington despite not hitting the market until one month after free agency began.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported in December that the salary cap for 2022 is $208.2 million, an increase of nearly $26 million from last season when the cap had to be adjusted down because of lost revenue from the pandemic-impacted 2020 campaign.
Orlando Brown became the first player tagged in 2022, with ESPN's Adam Schefter reporting the Kansas City Chiefs' decision. The team didn't want to see the offensive tackle leave after sending four draft picks, including the No. 31 overall choice in 2021, to the Baltimore Ravens for Brown and two draft picks.
Kansas City rebuilt its offensive line after Patrick Mahomes spent most of Super Bowl LV against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers running for his life. The moves paid off, with Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus ranking Kansas City's line as the fifth-best in the NFL during the regular season.
The Cleveland Browns joined in by using the tag on David Njoku, who has showed impressive flashes in his five-year career but is yet to provide consistent production. He finished last season with 36 catches for 475 yards and four touchdowns.
Much of the focus leading up to the tag deadline was on Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Jan. 2 that Adams and the Packers hadn't had any talks about a new contract after breaking off negotiations prior to the start of last season.
Rapoport reported on Tuesday that Aaron Rodgers is returning to play for the Packers in 2022, making it all the more likely that Adams would get tagged. The two-time All-Pro has averaged 153.5 targets, 108 receptions, 1,327 receiving yards and 11.8 touchdowns per season since 2018.
Green Bay wound up making the move just before the 4 p.m. ET deadline on Tuesday to ensure Adams wouldn't hit free agency, per Rapoport.
Here's a list of how each team used the franchise or transition tag.
Arizona Cardinals: Tag wasn't applied
Atlanta Falcons: Tag wasn't applied
Baltimore Ravens: Tag wasn't applied
Buffalo Bills: Tag wasn't applied
Carolina Panthers: Tag wasn't applied
Chicago Bears: Tag wasn't applied
Cincinnati Bengals: S Jessie Bates III (via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network)
Cleveland Browns: TE David Njoku (via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network)
Dallas Cowboys: TE Dalton Schultz (via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network)
Denver Broncos: Tag wasn't applied
Detroit Lions: Tag wasn't applied
Green Bay Packers: WR Davante Adams (via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network)
Houston Texans: Tag wasn't applied
Indianapolis Colts: Tag wasn't applied
Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Cam Robinson (via team)
Kansas City Chiefs: OT Orlando Brown (via ESPN's Adam Schefter)
Las Vegas Raiders: Tag wasn't applied
Los Angeles Chargers: Tag wasn't applied
Los Angeles Rams: Tag wasn't applied
Miami Dolphins: TE Mike Gesicki (via ESPN's Adam Schefter)
Minnesota Vikings: Tag wasn't applied
New England Patriots: Tag wasn't applied
New Orleans Saints: Tag wasn't applied
New York Giants: Tag wasn't applied
New York Jets: Tag wasn't applied
Philadelphia Eagles: Tag wasn't applied
Pittsburgh Steelers: Tag wasn't applied
San Francisco 49ers: Tag wasn't applied
Seattle Seahawks: Tag wasn't applied
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Chris Godwin (via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network)
Tennessee Titans: Tag wasn't applied
Washington Commanders: Tag wasn't applied
QB: $29.7 million
RB: $9.6 million
WR: $18.4 million
TE: $10.9 million
OL: $16.7 million
DE: $17.9 million
DT: $17.4 million
LB: $18.7 million
CB: $17.3 million
S: $12.9 million
K/P: $5.2 million
Tag values via NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.