The 2016 Declaration Day has come and gone and the results are in. Last year’s day was a turning point for multiple franchises. Chicago was easily the most hurt, as nearly 25% of their roster declared including multiple All-Star caliber players. While no one was hit quite so bad this year, some big names could potentially hit the market.
See who made out well, and who didn’t, and who is likely to be getting franchise tagged this year.
TEAM BY TEAM BREAKDOWN
Baltimore – Players Declared: RBLB Davion Strachan
While Strachan is a big name and his declaring isn’t a good sign for the Breakers, he also holds a player option that would net him a 30% pay raise. Whether he claims it not remains to be seen. If he doesn’t, expect the Breakers to franchise tag him.
Chicago – Players Declared: OLDL Joe St. Germain
St. Germain is an interesting one for the Blues, who have to be happy just to only have one player to deal with this year after last year’s declaration day. St. Germain is a good young player, but is he good enough to be worth the franchise tag, especially with Chicago having a young line overall? If he gets the tag or hits the market he’ll make more than he’s worth, so Chicago will first get to decide if the paycheck is worth what he’ll bring to the table.
DC – Players Declared: OS Michael Killawa
This is not a surprise. Killawa was being groomed as the replacement for longtime DC OS Marcus Cribbs, but then the Conspiracy signed OS Tommy Fairchild to a long term deal which sealed Killawa’s fate as a backup for as long as he’s in DC. He has the talent and will likely seek a chance to start elsewhere. With DC’s existing payroll and his backup role don’t expect him to receive the franchise tag from a franchise that has never used it.
Eugene – Players Declared: None
What can I say? They lost no one, so a win here for a franchise with some big momentum after a couple down years.
Evansville – Players Declared: WRLB Joe Farda, WRLB John Owen
Evansville is in a tough spot here. Both these young players are similar ages, same position, and similar amounts of potential. Are either of them worth a franchise tag? Tough to say…but they only have the ability to keep one off FAFFA, if they choose to. Given the average age of their top 3 WR’s I’m guessing they’ll want to, though they do have other younger backups so the need to keep one isn’t severe.
Fort McMurray – Players Declared: None
Good for them.
Fort Worth – Players Declared: None
Huntington – Players Declared: None
Indianapolis – Players Declared: RBLB Raynor Baz, DS Anthony Torres, QB Kimane Domena, OLDL Jay Thiel
This could hurt the young franchise a bit, as Baz and Torres are starters currently. Thiel is their best blocker off the bench, but getting up there in age. Domena has talent but with Hiruma as a starter losing him won’t be a disaster.
Kansas City – Players Declared: OLDL Kadeem Davis, OS Ward Soto
Both are capable players, but older and not a killer to KC’s depth. Davis could be worth a franchise tag for one year, but Soto will hit the market for sure I reckon.
London – Players Declared: OLDL Wayne Pratch, DS Craig Pierce, QB Nick Stokes
This one hurts. Pratch and Pierce are both premier players at their positions in their prime. Stokes is one of the best backups in the league. They will almost for sure utilize the frachise tag, the question is who gets it. Given the other players on the roster I predict Pierce gets it.
Los Angeles – Players Declared: WRDB Chaunceu Hoxie, RBLB Dacarreay Peaches, RBDB Jonas Mouton, RBLB Olly Quicksilver, WRDB Shane Andrews, K Alan Morre
This hurts as well. Hoxie is a top player, but given the immediate trade rumors it sounds like he might be on the outs. Mouton- who received a franchise tag last year- is looking to hit the market again. Will he get the tag with another year of aging on him though? Most of the other backup RBLB’s are also looking to go, but with Mason’s increased age and contract status maybe using the franchise on Quicksilver is the better way to go.
Memphis – Players Declared: OLDL James “Snacks” Jones, DS Paul Kwiatkowski
Snacks might not be worth a franchise tag but he is a tough player to lose; he a good younger player who adds depth to a pretty good group of linemen who’s weakness is already their depth. Kwiatkowski is young and has some potential but will be a career liability as a tackler which lowers his career ceiling as a DS.
New York – Players Declared: WRLB Blake Spielman, DS Greg Blatenberger
Both of these players have team or mutual options for next year, so this isn’t too big of a deal for the Mean Machine. They just have to decide if either player is worth keeping for the future.
North Dakota – Players Declared: WRDB Je’Quan Moscot
He’s a young receiver who’s aged well and has potential so it wouldn’t be good for a franchise looking to rebuild to lose him. That said, he’s not without his deficiencies and they may decide to save their cash for free agency.
Ohio – Players Declared: RBDB Earvin Hice, K Jacob MacLagan
Given Hice’s age he likely wouldn’t have received a long term deal anyways, so franchising him could be a good way to go. I guess the only way he doesn’t get it is if Ohio decides to rebuild and go young.
Omaha – Players Declared: QB Jamarco Angermeier
They have a good young starter at QB, so while Angermeier is a good player, he’s expendable.
Portland – Players Declared: QB Derek McConnell
Morrow is getting older so they might not have wanted to lose him, but with Morrow extended for 2 more years they have time to secure a new long term heir to Morrow’s throne.
Sacramento – Players Declared: WRLB Sam McGinley, DS Allen Gerard
It’s not the worst hit, but for a young expansion team having two young players decide they prefer the open market isn’t great. McGinley has plenty of team options so he can be kept around. Gerard might not be worth the franchise tag but Hill will need a replacement in a couple years if Gerard is allowed to walk.
San Antonio – Players Declared: WRLB Tiago Lucena, DS Laray Schmyik
The Rattlers have made it publicly known that Schmyik will either get a trade or the tag, so Lucena is a near sure thing to make it to FAFFA. He’ll need some work on defense but he has potential as a WRLB.
San Francisco – Players Declared: QB Eze Ekebi, WRLB Scott Howden
Both players are likely to hit the market. Ekebi is expendable as a backup QB. Howden has potential but might be too weak on defense to ever truly earn playing time. His future might be as an OS.
St. Louis – Players Declared: WRDB Aherion Willet, K Brian Nordhoff, DS Daryl Yell, DS Pat Govan
Willet is having a strong year but further aging will hurt him on the market. If the Rush were making a Cup push I’d say he could get the tag for one year, but with them appearing to go towards a rebuild following the Greywacz trade I’m guessing they trade him or let him go.
Seattle – Players Declared: None
Not surprised, those long term deals won’t make this day a major concern for several years at least.
Texas – Players Declared: OLDL Greg McConnell
McConnell is a strong player and unless aging kills him will be again next year. Texas is a Cup contender, so he is almost a sure franchise tag.
Vancouver Island – Players Declared: RBLB Ted Gervasi
They have plenty of backs including the best in the league. He’s good as gone.
Virginia – Players Declared: OLDL Felton Poley
Poley is getting up there in age but the Hawks are potentially in win-now mode for next year depending on how this year ends up going, so I think a tag is a likely possibility.
Waco – Players Declared: None
Wisconsin – Players Declared: QB Jason Stackhouse, QB AT Citro
Both QB’s want to leave town. One is a young All-Star level player with championship experience, the other is a quality but older backup. Who do you think they keep?
PREDICTED FRANCHISE TAGS
RBLB Davion Strachan – Ultimately why say you won’t consider resigning, then take a player option? He wants out I reckon, and the Breakers will want to keep him around.
WRLB Joe Farda – The Fightin’ Squirrels have some young talent at WR, but are also getting old at the top of the depth chart, so they keep who they can for the future.
OLDL Kadeem Davis – He’ll be a strong player for at least one more year, which makes the tag make sense here.
DS Craig Pierce – Top DS’s are harder to replace than top linemen, and London has some young guys to grow at OLDL on the roster making Pratch (barely) easier to let go.
RBLB Olly Quicksilver – Mouton is the best of the RB bunch that declared, but Quicksilver is the future and will be needed pretty soon, maybe next year.
RBDB Earvin Hice – Ohio’s window likely closes (at least for a short bit) if they lose him. Keeping him keeps the window a little more open.
DS Laray Schmyik – Trading isn’t what it was in this league, so I’m not sure they get what they want for him. But they are in contention and want to stay there, so either they get proper value for him or they pay to keep him.
OLDL Felton Poley – Poley is a top player that the Hawks can develop their line around, and replace in a year or two with younger capable talent they’ve developed while not losing out on the field.
QB Jason Stackhouse – Stackhouse is a franchise QB. You do what you need to do to keep him.