- What is a franchise tag?
- The history of the franchise tag
- The future of the franchise tag
If you’re a football fan, you’ve probably heard of the franchise tag. But what is it, exactly? In the NFL, the franchise tag is a tool that teams can use to keep players from hitting the free agent market.
What is a franchise tag?
A franchise tag is a designation given by the NFL to a player that is considered to be one of the best at their position. The tag binds the player to the team for one year and gives the team the right to match any offers the player may receive from other teams. The franchise tag is a way for teams to keep their best players from leaving via free agency.
What is the purpose of a franchise tag?
A franchise tag is a designation used by NFL teams to retain the rights to a player scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. By using the tag, a team commits to paying the player a one-year salary that is no less than the average of the five largest previous year’s salaries at his position, or 120 percent of his previous year’s salary – whichever is greater. The franchise tag also prevents the player from negotiating with other teams.
How does a team use a franchise tag?
A team may only designate one player each year as a franchise player. If a team designates a player as a franchise player, the team must offer him a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the following:
*The non-exclusive franchise tender for a linebacker in 2012 was $9.619 million.*
*The non-exclusive franchise tender for a defensive end in 2012 was $10.607 million.*
*The non-exclusive franchise tender for a safety in 2012 was $6.212 million.*
The average of these three numbers is $8.7 million, so that is the minimum amount that the team would have to offer the player if they used the non-exclusive franchise tag on him.
What are the benefits of a franchise tag?
The benefits of a franchise tag depend on the player’s perspective. For highly sought after free agents, the tag allows them to test the market and see what their true value is. If they are unhappy with the offers they receive, they can sign a one-year contract with their current team for a salary that is determined by the franchise tag. This gives the player some security, as they know exactly how much money they will be making for that season.
The franchise tag also gives the team some security, as they can retain a key player for at least one more season. This gives them time to work out a long-term contract extension or find a suitable replacement if they do lose the player in free agency.
There are some drawbacks to the franchise tag, however. Firstly, it can limit a player’s earning potential in the long term. Secondly, it can create tension between a player and their team if the player feels they are being undervalued. Finally, it can prevent a team from signing other free agents, as they may not have enough salary cap space to do so.
The history of the franchise tag
The franchise tag is a designation given by the NFL to a player that is under contract with a team, but is eligible to become a free agent. The team has the right to keep the player for one more year by paying them the average salary of the top five players at their position. The franchise tag was created in 1993 as a way to keep star players with their teams.
How has the franchise tag been used in the past?
The franchise tag was first used in 1993, when it was included in the first collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. The tag allowed teams to keep one player from leaving as a free agent each year. That player would be paid the average salary of the top five players at his position, or 120 percent of his previous salary, whichever was greater.
In 2012, the franchise tag rules were changed as part of a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union. Under the new rules, there are two types of franchise tags: exclusive and non-exclusive.
An exclusive franchise tag prevents a player from negotiating with any other team. A non-exclusive franchise tag allows a player to negotiate with other teams, but if he signs an offer sheet with another team, his current team has the right to match that offer and keep him. If the team does not match the offer, it would receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.
The 2012 CBA also created a third type of tag, known as the transition tag. The transition tag can be used on players who are set to become free agents, but it comes with a lower salary than the franchise tag. The transition tag can be used once per team per offseason, and it gives the team a chance to match any offer sheet the player signs with another team. If the team does not match the offer sheet, it would not receive any compensation.
Since 2012, 40 players have been given the franchise tag, including seven this offseason: defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (Giants), linebacker DeMarcus Ware (Cowboys), defensive end Greg Hardy (Panthers), receiver Mike Wallace (Dolphins), offensive tackle Ryan Clady (Broncos), tight end Charles Clay (Dolphins) and placekicker Dan Carpenter (Bills).
What are some notable examples of the franchise tag?
The franchise tag is a designation given by the NFL to a player who is considered to be among the best at his position. Franchised players are not free to sign with other teams, and must either accept the one-year contract offered by their current team or sit out the season. The tag can be used on players who are about to become free agents, as well as on those who have already been released by their team.
Notable examples of players who have been franchised include quarterbacks Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, wide receiver Dez Bryant, defensive end Julius Peppers, and linebacker Von Miller.
What changes have been made to the franchise tag over time?
In 1993, the NFL implemented the use of the franchise tag, which allows teams to retain certain players by offering them a one-year contract worth the average salary of the league’s top five players at their position.
In 2010, there was a slight change to the rules surrounding free agency. The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association stipulated that any player who received the franchise tag three times would automatically become a free agent.
The CBA also stipulated that any player who changed teams as a result of being given the franchise tag would be entitled to receive compensation equal to two first-round draft picks. In 2012, this rule was changed so that only players who had been given the tag in back-to-back years would be entitled to this compensation.
In 2015, there was another change to the rules governing free agency. The CBA stipulated that any team that uses the franchise tag must offer the player a one-year contract worth at least 120% of their previous year’s salary.
In 2016, there was yet another change to the rules, this time regarding transition tags. A transition tag allows a team to retain a player for one year at a salary that is determined by comparisons with other players at their position around the league.
Under previous rules, if a team used their transition tag on a player and they subsequently signed an offer sheet with another team, the original team would have seven days to match the offer and keep the player.
However, under new rules which were agreed upon in 2016, if a team decides to use their transition tag on a player and they subsequently sign an offer sheet with another team, they will have five days to match that offer instead of seven.
The future of the franchise tag
In the NFL, 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 no long-term contract is agreed upon. The franchise tag gives the team a chance to keep the player from leaving via free agency. It also allows the team to continue negotiating a long-term contract with the player.
What are the potential changes to the franchise tag?
The future of the franchise tag is currently being debated by the NFL, with several potential changes being considered.
One proposal would see the franchise tag removed altogether, while another would introduce a new “transition tag” which would allow teams to retain one player for each season without having to commit to a long-term contract.
There are also proposals to change the way the franchise tag is calculated, with some suggesting that it should be based on the average salary of the top five players at each position, rather than the top-paid player at that position.
Whatever changes are made, they are unlikely to be approved in time for the 2019 season, so teams will continue to use the franchise tag as a way of retaining key players for at least one more year.
How would these changes impact the use of the franchise tag?
The franchise tag is a designation that 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. Applying the tag gives the team an exclusive negotiating window with the player before he hits free agency.
If no agreement can be reached, the player must play under a one-year contract that pays him the average of the five highest-paid players at his position, or 120 percent of his previous salary — whichever is greater. Players can be franchise tagged a maximum of three times in their careers.
There have been calls to change the franchise tag rules in recent years, with some suggesting that it be eliminated altogether. Others have proposed changes that would give players more freedom in negotiating contracts, while still protecting teams’ interests.
One proposal would allow players who are franchise tagged to negotiate with other teams, but only for offers that exceed their current team’s best offer by at least 20 percent. If the player accepts such an offer, he would then be immediately traded to that team. Another proposal would give players who are franchise tagged the ability to sign a long-term contract with their current team or any other team, but they would not be allowed to negotiate with any other teams after signing such a contract.
These are just two of many possible changes that could be made to the franchise tag rules. It remains to be seen whether any changes will actually be made in the near future, but it is clear that there is significant debate on this issue among NFL stakeholders.
What are the implications of these changes?
The most significant change for 2021 is the transition tag will now be worth the average of the top 10 salaries at the player’s position, rather than the top five. That number figures to be higher than it was in 2020, when the transition tag for quarterbacks was approximately $23 million.
The other notable changes are that teams will now have to wait until May 3 to designate franchise or transition players, rather than doing so at the start of the league year on March 17. Also, any team using the tag must do so before negotiating with other teams. Previously, there was a window in which teams could negotiate with unrestricted free agents before using the tag.