Franchise tag

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In the National Football League, the franchise tag is a designation a team may apply to a player scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. The tag binds the player to the team for one year if certain conditions are met. Each team only has one franchise tag (of either the exclusive or non-exclusive forms) and one transition tag per year. The transition tag can only be used if the team does not use a franchise tag. As a result, each team may only designate one player each year as that team's franchise player using one of the three tag options.

Perhaps originally designed to reduce player movement to bigger markets, which is often evidenced in other major football pro sports leagues, the NFL revenue sharing and a hard salary cap has placed teams on an even playing field relative to salaries. The tag options allow NFL franchises an extended bargaining period for a player that they feel is key to their success. Usually reserved for players of great skill or of high importance to the team, a franchise tag allows a team's general manager the privilege of strategically retaining valuable free-agent players while seeking talent through the NFL draft or other acquisitions without exceeding the League's salary cap.

The designated franchise player will have his one year salary guaranteed if he elects to play for the team that designated him with the franchise tag and if he does not negotiate a contract with another team.

Background[edit]

The National Football League introduced the franchise tag in 1993.[1] There are two types of franchise tag designations: the exclusive rights franchise tag, and non-exclusive rights franchise tag:

  • An "exclusive" franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position as of a date in April of the current year in which the tag will apply, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. Exclusive franchise players cannot negotiate with other teams. The player's team has all the negotiating rights to the exclusive player.
  • A "non-exclusive" franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five cap hits at the player's position for the previous five years applied to the current salary cap, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. A non-exclusive franchise player may negotiate with other NFL teams, but if the player signs an offer sheet from another team, the original team has a right to match the terms of that offer, or if it does not match the offer and thus loses the player, is entitled to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.
  • Under the Capped years a team can designate one additional player only as a transitional tag. A transition player must be offered a minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries of the prior season at the player's position or 120 percent of the player's prior year's salary, whichever is greater. A transition player designation gives the club a first-refusal right to match within seven days an offer sheet given to the player by another club after his contract expires. If the club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no compensation.

Historical data[edit]

Salary averages[edit]

Exclusive franchise player costs by position
Position 2016[2] 2015[3] 2014[4] 2013[5] 2012[6] 2011[6] 2010[7] 2009[8] 2008
Cornerback $13,952,000 $13,075,000 $11,834,000 $10,854,000 $10,600,000 $13,500,000 $9,566,000 $9,957,000 $9,465,000
Defensive end $15,701,000 $14,813,000 $13,116,000 $11,175,000 $10,600,000 $13,000,000 $12,398,000 $8,991,000 $8,879,000
Defensive tackle $13,651,000 $11,193,000 $9,654,000 $8,450,000 $7,900,000 $12,500,000 $7,003,000 $6,058,000 $6,363,000
Linebacker $14,129,000 $13,195,000 $11,455,000 $9,619,000 $8,800,000 $10,100,000 $9,680,000 $8,304,000 $8,065,000
Offensive linemen
(Tackles, Guards, and Centers)
$13,706,000 $12,943,000 $11,654,000 $9,828,000 $9,400,000 $10,100,000 $10,731,000 $8,451,000 $7,455,000
Placekicker or Punter $4,572,000 $4,126,000 $3,556,000 $2,977,000 $2,500,000 $3,250,000 $2,814,000 $2,483,000 $2,514,000
Quarterback $19,953,000 $18,544,000 $16,912,000 $14,896,000 $14,400,000 $16,100,000 $16,405,000 $14,651,000 $13,730,000
Running Back
(Fullbacks and Halfbacks)
$11,789,000 $10,951,000 $9,540,000 $8,219,000 $7,700,000 $9,600,000 $8,156,000 $6,621,000 $6,538,000
Safety $10,806,000 $9,618,000 $8,433,000 $6,916,000 $6,200,000 $8,800,000 $6,455,000 $6,342,000 $4,396,000
Tight end $9,118,000 $8,347,000 $7,035,000 $6,066,000 $5,400,000 $7,300,000 $5,908,000 $4,462,000 $4,522,000
Wide receiver $14,599,000 $12,823,000 $12,312,000 $10,537,000 $9,400,000 $11,400,000 $9,521,000 $9,884,000 $7,848,000

Team tags[edit]

2016[edit]

Franchise-tagged players [9]

2015[edit]

Franchise-tagged players [10]

2014[edit]

Franchise-tagged players

2013[edit]

Franchise-tagged players
Source[15][16]

2012[edit]

Franchise-tagged players

2011[edit]

Franchise-tagged players

2010[edit]

Franchise-tagged players

2009[edit]

Franchise-tagged players

2008[edit]

Franchise-tagged players

2007[edit]

Franchise-tagged players

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Ochab, Charles (March 2007). "Don't Franchise Me! The NFL's Emerging Dilemma". The Illinois Business Law Journal. 
  2. ^ http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14858518/2016-nfl-franchise-tag-values-every-position
  3. ^ http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/12408402/nfl-informs-teams-2015-salary-cap-14328-million
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ a b "Lower numbers could lead to record franchise tag designations". Yahoo Sports. February 19, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  7. ^ NFL franchise/transition tag tender amounts for 2010 season - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL - USATODAY.com
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000640089/article/franchise-tag-tracker-whos-been-tagged
  10. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000475744/article/franchise-tag-tracker?campaign=Facebook_tagtracker
  11. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000329988/article/greg-hardy-receives-carolina-panthers-franchise-tag
  12. ^ a b c http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/nfl-franchise-tag-deadlines-ends-with-a-bang-030314
  13. ^ http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/28/jets-use-franchise-tag-on-kicker-nick-folk/
  14. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/football-insider/wp/2014/03/03/redskins-apply-franchise-player-tag-to-brian-orakpo/
  15. ^ "Franchise players named" (PDF). National Football League. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 11, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  16. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000146745/article/deadline-day-tracking-franchise-tags
  17. ^ http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_/id/7649119/source-new-york-giants-punter-steve-weatherford-gets-franchise-tag
  18. ^ http://blogs.detroitlions.com/2012/03/05/lions-use-franchise-tag-on-avril/
  19. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82756ed9/article/niners-gm-baalke-says-they-will-keep-working-on-goldson-deal
  20. ^ http://blogs.nfl.com/2012/03/01/raiders-apply-franchise-tag-to-branch/
  21. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82755e0f/article/grimes-franchised-by-falcons-but-cb-not-ready-to-sign
  22. ^ http://blogs.nfl.com/2012/03/02/redskins-use-franchise-tag-on-te-davis/
  23. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d827577fd/article/ravens-apply-tag-to-rice-but-both-sides-want-longterm-deal
  24. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8275a1a3/article/bears-apply-franchise-tag-to-rb-forte-still-want-longterm-deal
  25. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82757600/article/cardinals-say-longterm-deal-with-campbell-remains-priority
  26. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82757d0c/article/franchise-tag-will-keep-kicker-nugent-with-bengals-for-2012
  27. ^ http://blogs.nfl.com/2012/03/02/browns-will-apply-franchise-tag-to-kicker-dawson/
  28. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8275c9d5/article/saints-use-franchise-tender-on-brees-qbs-figure-144-million?module=HP11_breaking_news
  29. ^ http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7647252/denver-broncos-franchise-tag-kicker-matt-prater-source-says
  30. ^ http://blogs.nfl.com/2012/03/05/cowboys-use-franchise-tag-on-lb-spencer/?module=HP11_breaking_news
  31. ^ http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/7648141/new-england-patriots-franchise-wes-welker-source-says/?module=HP11_breaking_news
  32. ^ http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/bucs/tampa-bay-buccaneers-place-franchise-tag-on-connor-barth-re-sign-jeremy/1218450
  33. ^ http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7647426/kicker-josh-scobee-receives-jacksonville-jaguars-franchise-tag
  34. ^ http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/05/3470362/chiefs-designate-bowe-as-their.html
  35. ^ New England Patriots put franchise tag on Logan Mankins - ESPN Boston
  36. ^ Eagles Franchise Vick, Place Transition Tag on Akers
  37. ^ NFL.com news: Jets use franchise tag to keep standout LB Harris in fold
  38. ^ San Diego Chargers place franchise tag on WR Vincent Jackson - ESPN
  39. ^ Ngata Gets The Franchise Tag « Baltimore Ravens Blogs
  40. ^ QB Peyton Manning receives franchise tag from Indianapolis Colts - ESPN
  41. ^ NFL.com news: AFC sacks leader Hali receives franchise tag from Chiefs
  42. ^ Chad Greenway of Minnesota Vikings gets franchise tag - ESPN
  43. ^ Cleveland Browns use franchise tag on K Phil Dawson - ESPN
  44. ^ Carolina Panthers franchise tag center Ryan Kalil - ESPN
  45. ^ Jacksonville Jaguars place franchise tag on star TE Marcedes Lewis - ESPN
  46. ^ Source: Miami Dolphins use franchise tag on DT Paul Soliai - ESPN
  47. ^ Oakland Raiders tag Kamerion Wimbley; source says Stanford Routt to stay - ESPN
  48. ^ Jeff Reed: Franchise Tag Buys Steelers Time for Extension Talks | Bleacher Report
  49. ^ Packers Franchise Tag Ryan Pickett
  50. ^ Richard Seymour of Oakland Raiders signs $12.4M franchise tag - ESPN
  51. ^ San Francisco 49ers place franchise tag on nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin - ESPN
  52. ^ Why Seahawks used franchise tag on Olindo Mare | Seattle Seahawks & NFL News - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  53. ^ Cardinals place franchise tag on LB Karlos Dansby - USATODAY.com
  54. ^ Falcons Franchise Their Punter
  55. ^ Ravens place exclusive rights franchise tag on Terrell Suggs - ESPN
  56. ^ Inside the Panthers
  57. ^ Bengals News Home
  58. ^ Robinson upset with Texans over franchise tag | Houston Texans Football | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
  59. ^ Yahoo! Sports - Sports News, Scores, Rumors, Fantasy Games, and more
  60. ^ 2.13 Giants Franchise RB Jacobs - Giants.com
  61. ^ Steelers Designate Reed Franchise Player
  62. ^ NFL.com Blogs » Blog Archive Chargers tag RB Sproles as franchise player «
  63. ^ Seattle Seahawks tag linebacker Leroy Hill - ESPN
  64. ^ [4] Archived February 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  65. ^ NFL.com Blogs » Blog Archive Bucs plan to use franchise tag on WR Bryant «
  66. ^ http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090219/SPORTS01/90219040/
  67. ^ Cardinals place franchise tag on linebacker Dansby - NFL - ESPN
  68. ^ Ravens franchise Suggs at LB; he says he should be DE - NFL - ESPN
  69. ^ Unable to reach long-term deal, Panthers tag Gross
  70. ^ Bengals designate OL Andrews franchise player - NFL - ESPN
  71. ^ [5] Archived February 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  72. ^ Green Bay Packers news | News, sports, features, blogs, photos and forums about the Green Bay Packers | packersnews.com
  73. ^ Unable to reach long-term deal, Colts franchise tag Clark - NFL - ESPN
  74. ^ Chiefs put franchise tag on Allen, who wants to stay - NFL - ESPN
  75. ^ Raiders slap exclusive franchise tag on CB Asomugha
  76. ^ Healthy L.J. Smith gets Eagles' franchise tag - NFL - ESPN
  77. ^ Report: Seahawks place franchise tag on Trufant - NFL - ESPN
  78. ^ Titans make DT Albert Haynesworth a franchise player - NFL - ESPN