The Raiders did not use a franchise or transition tag for the third straight season, a fact cemented once the application deadline passed Tuesday afternoon.
Inactivity wasn’t a surprise. The Silver and Black don't have many unrestricted free agents at all, let alone those worthy of a hefty one-year payday.
It could’ve been considered for punter Marquette King with his relatively cheap $4.5 million tag for specialists, but King signed a five-year, $16.5 million deal on Monday.
Offensive tackle Donald Penn was the only other option, but the $13.76 million franchise tag for offensive linemen was a little steep to use there.
Despite publicly stated frustration from Penn in early February, the Raiders remain hopeful they can re-up with Penn before their exclusive negotiating window closes on March 7. Penn ultimately wants to stay in Oakland, but wants a raise after two solid seasons.
While the Raiders didn’t directly use their tags, other applications have an impact on what they’re trying to accomplish in free agency.
The Buffalo Bills franchise tagged left tackle Cordy Glenn, leaving Penn high among the top offensive tackles close to hitting the open market. That could create an escalation in value the Raiders don’t want, considering it would be hard to retain a player they hope to keep.
The Raiders are in the market for upgrades at cornerback, and the Los Angeles Rams took one off the market by giving Trumaine Johnson the franchise tag. That also increases the value of elite cornerbacks, something seemingly attractive to the Silver and Black.
Cornerback is a deep free agent market, and there are several quality options in players like L.A.’s Janoris Jenkins, Green Bay’s Casey Hayward and Kansas City’s Sean Smith.
The Raiders last used a franchise tag on safety Tyvon Branch in 2012.