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Mailbag: Does Coronavirus Affect The Tag?


I am a bit skeptical that we will play a full season or even a season at all given the players association's concerns and possible full scale player opt outs. If this proves to be the case, do you think Dak's franchise tag will be commuted to 2021. And if so do you think a new negotiating period would be opened? — MICHAEL BARBER / NEWTON, IA

David: It's something that I think a lot about, and it's hard to have an answer because we simply don't know what this season is going to look like. I don't think there will be an extension on the negotiation period because the NFL is going to go ahead with training camp at some point. If the season is disrupted for whatever reason, I would imagine the league and the players association will have to negotiate the prospect of rolling contracts over into next year.

Rob: As Dave said, the NFL and the NFLPA would have to work out contingency plans regarding contracts and if they would roll over in that scenario — whether that's the franchise tag for Dak or the first year of a new deal. (Tag deadline is in a few hours, so we'll know for sure by 3 p.m.) But, as we talked about in Monday's mailbag, the league is focused on trying to make this season work, and it starts with adopting and implementing safety and testing protocols for players and staff. There are so many layers to this, but their safety obviously has to be top of mind here.

In 2019 Michael Gallup showed that he's a solid No. 2 WR in the NFL. If he sustains or increases his numbers in 2020 and 2021, he might become too expensive for Dallas to keep him. Lately, Jerry has extended players before this happens; Jaylon Smith and La'el Collins being recent examples. Do you think they will be able to do this with Gallup? And if so when would you expect it to happen? — BRYAN WALSH / MT. AIRY, MD

David: Draft picks are eligible to negotiate a new deal after their third year, so that could theoretically happen as soon as this season is done. A lot of that probably depends on Mike. Jaylon and La'el re-signed early because they wanted long-term security more than they wanted to get top dollar. If Gallup continues to improve in 2020, he might want to wait the extra year to see what the market holds in store. No two players are the same.

Rob: There's no doubt the Cowboys eventually will have a decision to make on Gallup, provided that he and Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb all thrive in this offense. Could all three conceivably be signed long term at some point? Sure. The Cowboys have pulled it off for years on the offensive line. But tougher roster decisions have to be made when your quarterback is on a huge-money deal, whether that's the tag or an extension for Dak. And, it remains to be seen what the salary cap figure will look like the next couple of years. If league revenue drops due to the pandemic, the cap could be flat or lower than expected. We'll see.

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