The sports world remains in flux during the coronavirus pandemic, but NFL teams are making moves during the offseason. Several teams have used the franchise tag to prevent one of their best players from becoming free agents.

Teams have until Monday at 11:59 a.m. EDT to use the franchise tag on a player that’s unsigned for the 2020 NFL season. Players that are tagged have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term contract.

The franchise tag pays players a guaranteed, one-year salary, putting them among the highest-paid players at their respective positions.

Here are three players that were franchised Friday.

Matthew Judon, Baltimore Ravens

The pass rusher is coming off the best season of his career, recording 9.5 sacks, 54 tackles and four forced fumbles in 2019. The 27-year-old has 28.5 sacks in four NFL seasons. The tag will pay Judon more than $16 million for the 2020 season.

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

Henry became the league’s highest-paid tight end, at least for the moment, when the Chargers decided to use the franchise tag that will pay him a little more than $11 million per year. The former second-round pick has been productive when healthy, but he’s missed 23 games over his four-year career. Henry has 136 catches for 1,709 yards and 17 touchdowns since 2016.

Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos

Denver was never going to let Simmons hit free agency. The safety is one of the most underrated defensive players in the NFL. Simmons was a 2019 Second-Team All-Pro selection with four interceptions and 93 tackles. The tag will pay Simmons $11.5 million for next season.


Denver Broncos
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders #10 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after catching a pass for a third-quarter touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on November 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. Justin Edmonds/Getty Images