As most minicamps and OTAs are coming to a close still a few notable players under the franchise tag who have yet to agree on a new deal with their respected teams. The July 15 deadline is still a ways out, but with the team executives getting ready to take their vacations, negotiations will be slow.
If the teams aren’t able to sign these players to extend deals by July 15, they will risk losing them to free agency after this season. Some of the non-specialist players still waiting to get signed are as follows in order of most likely to reach an agreement to least likely.
Anthony Spencer, OLB, Dallas Cowboys
Spencer had a breakthrough season last year, which led Jerry Jones to retain Spencer’s rights for this season at a 20 percent increase in pay from his 2012 salary meaning Spencer will make $10.7 million dollars this year and $20 million over the last two seasons. Based on Spencer’s talent and Jones’ generosity in paying his players, it is likely that teams will keep negotiating and at anytime soon a deal will be complete before the deadline.
Ryan Clady, LT, Denver Broncos
Negotiations continue between Clady and the Broncos, but the two sides remain some distance apart. The Broncos previously offered Clady a long-term contract before placing the tag on him, but Clady’s agent didn’t believe it was worthy of a top tackle. Clady is an important part of the Denver scheme because he is in charge of blocking for the aging Peyton Manning. Although there is still a gap to bridge between the two sides, it seems likely a deal could get done before the deadline.
Jarius Byrd, S, Buffalo Bills
Talks between the two sides have been slow, almost to a standstill, but it is hard to imagine that the Bills won’t resign Byrd. They have the fourth highest cap space so they have money to spend, and should use it on their young talented ball hawk. Signing him will also free up cap space in the future so it is a win-win situation.
Henry Melton, DT, Chicago Bears
There has been very little negotiation between Melton and the Bears despite Melton signing his tender right away and showing up for all the offseason workouts. Melton was a pro bowl player last season, and with the Bears defense aging and retiring, they need to keep what young stars they have. It is a toss-up if a deal is going to get done between two sides before the deadline.
Branden Albert, T, Kansas City Chiefs
Albert isn’t likely to be signed by the Chiefs past this year. By drafting Eric Fisher, and showing numerousattempts to trade Albert, it doesn’t appear that he will be there this past season. Albert could play right tackle for the Chiefs, but in the long-term he wants to play left tackle. So don’t expect any news to come out of the Chiefs front office.
Michael Johnson, DE, Cincinnati Bengals
There is little hope for this deal as neither side can agree on how much Johnson is worth. Also with the Bengals needing to resign three other defensive linemen in the next few months, it doesn’t appear that Johnson will be one of those signings.
Randy Starks, DL, Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins haven’t seemed interested in resigning Starks, and neither side is even close to an agreement on a long-term contract. The Dolphins made multiple big moves in free agency this year making them less likely to spend the money on Starks. If Starks has a good season he could be a very sought after free agent next spring.