The Carolina Panthers are expected to apply the franchise tag to offensive tackle Taylor Moton as free agency approaches, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The #Panthers are expected to franchise tag OT Taylor Moton, source said, locking him in for the 2021 season. No party has given up on getting a long-term deal done, and the team is keeping options open because that’s the goal, but it’s likely that the tag is the end result.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 5, 2021
With the league’s free agency period a little over a week away, this gives the Panthers some breathing room while negotiating with their most talented lineman. This will guarantee that Moton plays for the Panthers in 2021 even if the team can’t get a deal sorted out this off season.
The franchise tag number for offensive linemen in 2021 is $14,507,000. That would eat up as much as half of the Panthers available cap space for the year, depending on what the final salary cap numbers come out to. We’ll have more on that later.
Moton was easily one of the team’s most reliable and talented offensive linemen in 2020 and figures to be the face of another new-look group coming into 2021. That’s an attractive negotiating position for a player in a league that is short on offensive line talent. The question of his contract, assuming the Panthers are offering anything close to market value, will be whether or not Moton wants to bet on his health for another year to test the open market.