It's a busy Friday in the AFC East, as the Jets announced they have placed the franchise tag on kicker Nick Folk.
This makes them the first NFL team to use its franchise tag in 2014.
The franchise tag is a one-year fully guaranteed deal that pays a player the average of the top five yearly salaries at his position; for kickers, the franchise tag is $3.556 million this season, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network. Folk made $795,000 last year, so that's a pretty substantial pay increase.
However, Folk is likely getting tired of one-year deals — he has had four of them since joining the Jets in 2010.
"Of course I'd love [a long-term deal], and I'd think that they'd like a reliable guy at that position for awhile," Folk said after the season, according to Metro New York. "It is up to them to see what they want to go, what they want to do with things."
For now, he'll have to wait. Of course, it's possible that the tag is just a bridge to a long-term deal, but the Jets have the cap space to justify using the tag, with an estimated $26 million in cap space according to sports contracts and salary cap database Spotrac.
Either way, Folk can probably stop looking over his shoulder. For three straight years, the Jets have brought in a kicker to compete with Folk for the starting job: last year it was Dan Carpenter, in 2012 it was Josh Brown, and in 2011 it was Nick Novak.
The 2013 season was the best of Folk's career; he made 91.7 percent of his field goal tries, tied for the 10th-highest percentage in the NFL. He was also one of only four kickers to hit 100 percent of his attempts from 50 yards or more (minimum three attempts), and he also made three game-winning field goals (vs. Buccaneers, Falcons, Patriots).
The next deadline is July 15; the Jets must sign Folk to a long-term deal by that date, or else be stuck with the one-year, $3.4 million franchise tag for 2014.
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