Could the Falcons use the Franchise Tag in the 2022 offseason?

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The Falcons have a lot more questions than answers going into the 2022 offseason, and there are a lot of difficult decisions to be made. I favor bringing back most of the crew from last season that needs new contracts — Isaiah Oliver, Foyesade Oluokun, Cordarrelle Patterson, Younghoe Koo, Russell Gage, and Fabian Moreau are a few names that come to mind.

The issues arise with Atlanta’s current cap situation. They don’t have much space to work with, and they have a lot of holes on their roster that need to be filled. The franchise tag can help a team’s long-term outlook, but it’s more expensive in the short term. Would Terry Fontenot consider using it for the first time in his tenure?

To put it bluntly — no shot. I have a hard time believing that the Falcons will hand Cordarrelle Patterson a projected $12.5 million or Foyesade Oluokun a projected $17.4 million. Younghoe Koo is an interesting name, but why franchise tag him for a projected $5.5 million when you can lock him up for four to five years for what would likely be less money per year?

I don’t really see the Falcons using the franchise tag for a while. Next season’s free agency class is led by Grady Jarrett and Calvin Ridley, which could present some scenarios of a franchise tag. Still, Ridley may be traded this offseason, and I doubt Atlanta would tag Jarrett out of respect for his standing in the organization. Chris Lindstrom’s fifth-year option is a guarantee, so maybe that will become a reality in 2024. For now, I don’t see anyone in Atlanta playing on the tag in 2022.

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