NFL franchise tag candidates for 2017: Key free agents holding collective breath

It took a while for Shanahan to reach this level of play-calling swagger. Houston was an OK offensive coordinating start, and Washington brought only brief, zone-read fun with Robert Griffin III. Then came the humbling time with Cleveland in 2014, lowlighted by the Johnny Manziel mess.

Atlanta presented Shanahan a big early challenge, too, in 2015, as Ryan and the rest of the holdover personnel struggled to grasp his complicated concepts at first. But with more time, better health and improved personnel, the Falcons’ offense became this season’s juggernaut and stamped Shanahan’s readiness as a head coach.

Austin Rivers Game Jersey “Nothing has changed in what’s he’s been doing to create a high-powered offense,” said Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, who also worked under Shanahan with the Browns. “His personality out there, he’s a very high-octane dude. He’s very intense on the details of everything. He wants everything perfect.”
Jamon Brown Game Jersey
For his likely next stop with the 49ers, Shanahan will bring the offensive acumen and intensity of Chip Kelly, only with a more proven track record of NFL success. After busting with the Browns and flying with the Falcons, Shanahan also knows his ability as a coach and play-caller means nothing without a trusted franchise QB.

The opening of the two-week window in which a team can designate one upcoming free agent a franchise player comes Feb. 15.

Once the franchise tag is applied, the player immediately will be tendered a one-year, fully guaranteed contract that’s usually worth less than the amount of money he would receive with a long-term contract.

The application of the franchise tag also effectively blocks the player from free agency by attaching a cost of two first-round draft picks for any contract the player signs with another team.

So who will get tagged this year? Here are some likely candidates.

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