Written and Media by John Dudley
The NFL recently franchise tagged many athletes. A franchise tag is a designation that a team applies to a player who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. This means that the player will be bound to a team for one year under specific conditions. An unrestricted free agent is a competitor who is free to sign with any team in the league. Franchise tagging is meant to retain athletes.
Teams can sign with another team if they use a non-exclusive tag. If a player signs an offer sheet, the original team can match the offer and potentially keep their member. An exclusive tag is placed on an athlete if they cannot negotiate with any other teams. An organization can only tag one competitor per year with a franchise tag. A contract and salary similar to a position of a top-five player in the NFL are guaranteed to that player. The purpose of the franchise tag is so that an organization can protect their important assets from leaving the team to free agency.
Some estimated figures for franchise tagging players are as follows; quarterback $18.51 million, defensive end $14.78 million, linebacker $13.17 million, cornerback $13.05 million, offensive line $12.92 million, wide receiver $12.8 million, defensive tackle $11.17 million, running back $10.93 million, safety $9.6 million, tight end $8.33 million and kicker/punter $4.12 million.
Athletes in this NFL offseason have been franchise tagged. Muhammad Wilkerson, a New York Jets defensive end has been franchise tagged. Wilkerson would have been a top-five free agent due to his versatility and strength. If he signs his tender he will earn $15.07 million. Another popular player who has been franchise tagged is Von Miller, a Super Bowl Champion for the Denver Broncos. The Super Bowl MVP has an exclusive tag, which means an increase in salary and that teams can’t trade for him. The Los Angeles Rams have decided to franchise tag cornerback Trumaine Johnson and put a non-exclusive tag on Johnson. Johnson was chosen over fellow teammate cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Competitors who are franchise tagged are a top asset to their organizations. NFL is definitely a money game.
A franchise tag can benefit a player and mean a pay raise and guaranteed work for the next year. The franchise tag can make both parties involved content with organizations if their key player is secured and key players are cashing in a signing bonus.