The Carolina Panthers are hoping to keep right tackle Jordan Gross. But if negotiations bog down and a new deal can’t be reached, he will likely receive the franchise tag from the club according to a report in the Gaston Gazette.
"General manager Marty Hurney would not comment Wednesday on the whether or not the team will use the tag except to say, “It’s a possibility. But I don’t want to say yes at this point. It’s something we haven’t decided.”Hurney did say the team is not close to reaching a long-term deal with Gross and wasn’t overly optimistic one would get done anytime soon.Gross is likely seeking a contract worth an average of at least $7 million per season with more than $18 million in guaranteed money, one that would put him on the same pay scale as last year’s top free agent offensive linemen.“There’s not been a lot of progress made (in negotiations),” Hurney said. “That said, things can change with one phone call.”"
With those kinds of salary demands, it’s possible that the Panthers, who are not exactly in first place with available cap room, could keep him in town for one more season by franchising Gross. Even if that happens, however, the team would have to pay him a salary equal to the average of the top five salaries among NFL tackles.