Blog Entry

Franchise, transition tags are here

Posted on: February 5, 2009 10:27 am
 

The NFL's two-week window for clubs to place either the franchise or the transition tag on a free agent has begun, and it ends in two weeks, just about when the NFL Combine gets into full swing.

That said, expect minimal tag action until right before the Combine.

For those of you who aren't aware, these tags allow clubs to have a chance at keeping their best free agents. Only one player can receive one tag each offseason.

The transition tag gives the club a right-of-refusal on a free agent if he signs a contract elsewhere. However, the club guarantees him the salary of the Top 10 players at his position for one season of work in exchange for that right. If the player signs elsewhere, the club can either match the contract he received or let him go. If that happens, the club gets NOTHING as far as compensation. This tag is rarely seen each offseason.

Here's what a player would be guaranteed for 2009 if hit with the transition tag:

CB $8,374,000
DE $7,777,000
DT $5,450,000
LB $7,480,000
OL $7,744,000
P/K $2,264,000
QB $12,440,000
RB $5,925,000
S $5,130,000
TE $4,065,000
WR $8,393,000

The franchise tag is far more common. It also gives the club a right-of-refusal on a free agent if he signs a contract elsewhere. However, the club guarantees him the Top 5 players at his position for one season of work in exchange for that right. If the player signs elsewhere, the club can either match the contract he received of let him go. But if they let him go, they receive TWO FIRST-ROUND PICKS from the club that signs him!

And since you see that the salaries are nominally higher for the franchise tags than the transition tags, it only makes sense that the clubs use the franchise tags so they can receive some compensation.

CB $9,957,000
DE
$ 8,991,000
DT
$ 6,058,000
LB
$ 8,304,000
OL
$ 8,451,000
P/K
$ 2,483,000
QB
$ 14,651,000
RB
$ 6,621,000
S
$ 6,342,000
TE
$ 4,462,000
WR
$ 9,884,000

So who might be franchised this offseason? Here are some hunches:

Raiders: Nnamdi Asomugha

Buccaneers: Antonio Bryant

Patriots: Matt Cassel

Bengals: T.J. Houshmandzadeh

Ravens: Ray Lewis

Giants: Brandon Jacobs

Panthers: Julius Peppers

Chargers: Darren Sproles

Cardinals: Kurt Warner

One player who won't be tagged: Titans DT Albert Haynesworth, who was franchised last year and hit a performance bonus that keeps him from being tagged this year.

We'll continue to keep you posted on those who receive the tags in the next two weeks.

 


Comments

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2009 11:51 am
 

Franchise, transition tags are here

Sorry for the delay ... teams can only use one tag per offseason. Housh will be free to go.




Since: Jul 19, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2009 12:26 pm
 

Franchise, transition tags are here

I believe that the answer to your question is yes.  However, I think that the franchise tag means that a player is paid the average of the top 5 salaries at his position, OR a 120% of the player's salary the previous year, whichever is GREATER.  So they would have to give Warner a 20% bump in salary each year.

 

Another question for Dave:  Since the Bengals have now franchised Graham, why not now use the transition tag on TJH?  Sure it could turn out to be a meaningless move, but at least they would give themselves the possibility to match any offer that TJH gets...




Since: Nov 13, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2009 1:17 pm
 

Franchise, transition tags are here

Thanks for the information- have a follow-up question, though... is there a limit to the number of times a team can tag THE SAME PLAYER?  For example, could the Cards just keep tagging Warner until he retires, keeping him out of free agency?  



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