The NFL has been engaged in a contract stalemate with the Tennessee Titans and Marcus Mariota. After a few months of this, the Tennessee Titans have elected to franchise tag Mariota. The tag is a one year contract that teams must give to their players. This allows the Titans to keep the exclusive rights to negotiate a long term contract with Mariota.
A franchise tag is when a player is tagged more than one time, and the team can use the tag on that player, without the player being able to negotiate with any other team. This is done to prevent a player from negotiating with another team while a franchise tag is in effect. This can happen if a player is traded during the tag period. Once the player is tagged a second time, this tag becomes final, and the player can no longer be traded.
What is a Franchise Tag in the NFL?
A franchise tag takes the form of a restricted free agent. This means that the team that is using the tag retains the right to match any offer they get on this player. All teams are required to give any franchise tagged player a first round tender.
Exclusive tags are the only kind that provide a player with the opportunity to earn an unrestricted free agent tag at the end of the season which can allow for a player to leave without a hit on the salary cap and no compensation. This tag type is a one-time only pay for all tag players and it’s a one-year deal, so it has no impact on the long term health of a team. Since the player is allowed to sign with any team at any time, these tags are most often used before free agency begins to allow teams to negotiate for a higher possible offer.
Exclusive Franchise Tag, Non-Exclusive Franchise, and Transition Tag Explanation
A restricted free agent has the option of accepting a qualifying offer of a certain value or signing a more lucrative agreement with another team. If the player signs the qualifying offer and doesn’t receive a contract offer from a team that would be significantly more lucrative, the original team receives the player’s rights for a period of two years.
An exclusive tag is the average of the franchise tag amount on a position, which is usually the highest amount to allow the team to lock down that player. For example, an exclusive tag will usually be set high enough to allow a team to negotiate with a player. This is because it is the only way for a team to guarantee that they can pay that player.
For the non-exclusive franchise tag, you take the current position number and you add half of the average salary cap from the previous five years. Next, you multiply that number against the current salary cap.
The non-exclusive tag is the lesser of $14.541 million or the average salary cap of the previous five years.
In general, a transition tag takes the average of the top 10 salaries at any given position for a one-year contract for a player. Unlike the other two options, a transition tag does not receive any picks if another team signs that player. Typically speaking, this type of offer is rarely used compared to the other two options.
In a given season, a team can have up to three of these four tags applied — one exclusive tag and two transition tags.
(c) Exclusive Franchise Tag: In a given season, a team can elect to tag one player with an exclusive designation, meaning the player must take that salary on the first day of the league year, and no other player can be tagged with this designation.
How Long Can the Team and Player Negotiate a Franchise Deal?
So when the Cowboys signed running back Ezekiel Elliott to his five-year $60-million contract on July 15, he became a restricted free agent and was able to negotiate a long-term contract with the team before the franchise tender deadline, and the Cowboys couldn’t tag him as a franchise player because he had already signed a long-term deal with the team.
After the season ends, the team can then renounce his rights and the player can sign with any other team.
The franchise tag is a two-year contract that can only be offered to one player a year. The player can accept the contract or let it expire and be free to negotiate a contract with another team.
Does the Franchise Tag Benefit the Team or Player More?
Teams can benefit because they get to keep their own franchise player.
The team can make a one-year commitment to that player.
The team can sign the player to an extension before the season begins.
Teams can also be harmed from the deal since they are paying the salary of that player, and that player is not being required to play for them.
A player can sign a short-term contract like one year, two years, or one month. For this type of contract, player’s salary cap numbers (how much salary a player is paid) can change during the contract. For example, if a team wants to sign a player for a shorter contract to keep him away from another team, his cap number will lower to make room for the new players on the cap.
Cousins was tagged three different times by the Washington Football team, which is quite rare and considered to be a punishment for the player. After the first two tags were unsuccessful, it meant that Cousins would be making less money. However, when the Vikings signed Cousins to a record deal, which amounted to about $36 million a year, Cousins was once again successful in being franchised.
Can a Player Refuse the Franchise Tag?
A player can choose not to sign a contract extension with an offer. There are two options for him to take. The first one is to refuse a contract extension and become a free agent. If the second option is a player’s preference, he can sit out the season after the draft and negotiate with a team, instead of being on the roster and making the money he was guaranteed.
The Jets gave Belle a $31 million contract with $16 million guaranteed, but that contract was not fully guaranteed until he played a full season in New York.
If Belle accepted his franchise tag, he would not have missed out on the $27.5 million salary he made in 2017.
The Jaguars will have to pay Belle $13.45 million to give him the chance to return, even though they will have to pay him more the next two years to keep him and not get into the luxury tax.
$32 million: The NFL franchise tag for a running back.
How Many Times Can a Tagged Player be Franchised?
Each time you tag a player twice, the salary cap for that season is increased. For example, if you tag your wide receiver twice, you will be capped at $27 million for that season if the cap increases by $10 million. However, each tag number increases the salary cap only by $10 million.
Conclusion – What is a Franchise Tag in Football?
However, the most important aspect to a franchise tag is the money the player will get from the team that they are tagged by. Because of this, a lot of teams will attempt to get a player to take a huge pay cut in order to be tagged. Since the money for a player who tags is guaranteed, they do not have much leverage to hold out for a better deal.
If you want to see what a franchise tag can look like, here is a list of the 2016 franchise tag.
Franchise deals are non-exclusive which means the team can acquire the first-round draft picks from any other team who picks up that player in a contract from the offseason. In order to make sure the player is comfortable wherever they sign, the player can also shop around to find a better deal.