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Franchise Tag

What is the Franchise Tag?

A contractual tool in the NFL that allows teams to keep a pending unrestricted free agent on the team for an additional year. Teams are allowed to place a Franchise Tag on only one player per year, which provides the player with a guaranteed contract with a salary similar to the salaries of the top 5 in the NFL for that position. The purpose of the Franchise Tag is to allow teams to protect their most important assets from simply leaving the team upon free agency, which is beneficial for small market teams who often see big name players move to big city franchises.

In 2013, the cost to franchise tag a player was:

Position Cost to Tag
Quarterback $14.9 million
Defensive End $11.2 million
Cornerback $10.9 million
Wide Receiver $10.5 million
Offensive Line $9.8 million
Linebacker $9.6 million
Defensive Tackle $8.4 million
Running Back $8.2 million
Safety $6.9 million
Tight End $6.0 million
Kicker/Punter $3.0 million

Sporting Charts explains Franchise Tag

There are two types of Franchise Tags, exclusive and non-exclusive:

  1. An exclusive Franchise Tag gives the team full negotiating rights on the player, meaning that the player is unable to negotiate a contract with any other team, but requires the team to pay the player a rate no less than the average salary of the top 5 salaries for that position in the current year or 120% of the players salary in the previous year, which ever is greater.

  2. A non-exclusive Franchise Tag, allows the player to negotiate contracts with other teams with their current team is given the right to match whatever contract they sign, if the team decides not to match the contract they are given two first-round picks as consideration. The contract salary formula for a non-exclusive Franchise Tag is based off the average of the last five years of salaries for the top 5 players at that position.

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