Those NFL players who are expected to be retained by their respective teams after their contracts expire, but can’t work out a long-term contract agreement usually are awarded a franchise tag by their team.
The Baltimore Ravens did that with Haloti Ngata, and the sixth-year defensive tackle should expect a significant raise when the NFL lockout is lifted. That can only happen if the new collective bargaining agreement reached between the NFL and NFL Players’ Association keeps the franchise tags the same.
The Ravens are expected to re-work Ngata’s contact after the NFL lockout is lifted to push the 6-foot-4, 350-pound Oregon product’s career to its life with the team that selected him in the first round in 2006. Despite playing in the middle of the Ravens’ defensive line, Ngata tallied 65 total tackles, including 48 solo, and 5.5 sacks.
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Ngata has 12 sacks and three interceptions in his career. The one-year franchise tender he signed is worth $12.476 million, but Ngata is believed to want about $15 million per season.
A model for the Ravens and Ngata could be the contract signed by Ndamukong Suh with the Detroit Lions last year. The second overall player selected in the first round in 2010, Suh signed a five-year, $68 million contract that includes $40 million guaranteed.
Ngata, who is considered by many to be among the top defensive players in the NFL, could command a five-year deal in the $70-75 million range with more than $40 million guaranteed.