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TIME TO PLAY TAG


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TIME TO PLAY TAG

With free agency only three weeks away, the time is coming for NFL teams to decide whether to use the franchise tag on any of the unrestricted free agents (or restricted free agents) to be.

According to Adam Schefter of NFL Network, the franchise-tag period opens on February 7, and continues until February 21.

The tag gives the team a right of first refusal as to any offer sheet signed by the player. If the team chooses not to match the offer, the team gets two first-round draft picks as compensation.

To use the franchise tag, the club must offer the player a one-year deal with a salary equivalent to the average of the five highest-paid players at his position in the league. The pay is determined not by 2007 salary, but by cap number.

There are two levels of franchise tag -- nonexclusive and exclusive. The exclusive version (which the Colts used on Dwight Freeney in 2007) prevents the player from negotiating with other teams. However, his one-year salary is then based on 2008 cap numbers, not 2007.

Schefter reports that, based on talk in league circles, the following players could be franchised in the next two weeks: Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby, Panthers tackle Jordan Gross, Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, Patriots receiver Randy Moss, and Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant.

Other potential tag-wearers include Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen and Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. Given the value of a quality defensive lineman (see Super Bowl XLII), Allen, Suggs, and/or Haynesworth could all get the exclusive version of the tag.

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I think the pats will be able to sign moss to a deal.

He likes it in New England he might not be as greedy as people think since they didn't win the super bowl. He wants a ring. I think he will sign a 3 year deal. Samuel was tagged last year and according to the deal, he can't be tagged again this year. I don't think they will pay him the big bucks. I think he will go to Cincy,Arizona, or NY Jets.

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Lance Briggs is another big name that can't be franchised again. The Bears are notoriously cheap and Briggs is worth every cent of whatever he gets offered by anyone, so he's out there.

Asante Samuel will be playing for a different team next year unless he comes to terms with the Patriots... but they won't offer him as much as other teams will be more than willing to, so he's gonna be outta there.

I also think Moss signs a deal with the Pats. Complications with Belichick may turn his interest toward seeing what he can garner in the open market, but I think he feels like he fits perfectly with Brady and that offense so I'm not expecting him to do anything other than sign an extension or altogether new contract.

I can see Asomugha, Haynesworth, and Trufant getting franchised... not sure about the rest.

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Mr. Offseason (2/7/2008)
jidady, didnt they say that they wouldnt tag samuel though?

i doubt they let moss either A. play one year for the tag salary or B. leave. i think they will get him for a long term deal, he was instrumental in getting to the superbowl, and when they didnt get him the ball they struggled, simple as that.

I did. I was speaking in finite terms there where I probably shouldn't about Moss. I think it would be a monumental mistake to try to franchise Moss. With his personality what it is, that's walking straight up to the bomb and clipping the red wire instead of the green wire.

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Why are people under the assumption that the franchise tag is an inherently negative thing for players? It's just a tool that is available to help manage a high priority player with limited cap space. Asante Samuel and Lance Briggs got upset about it because they wanted long term deals or to be traded. In contrast, Karlos Dansby views it as an honor and thinks it may be a necessary step to remaining with the Cardinals.

Applying the franchise tag to a player doesn't mean that the player will not be signed to a new deal the following year. If the player doesn't re-sign after the franchise tag is served, all it means is that he couldn't get the money or contract terms he wanted.

And as for the Patriots franchising Moss... I don't see it happening, but I don't know why he would complain about it. He has already said that money is not an issue in signing a deal with the Patriots and the franchise tag would net him about $7 million more in base salary alone while assuring him of another year to cement his already cast iron status. I think he will sign a new contract that pays him fairly well, but he will be cooperative in negotiating terms. He wants to be on that team... it's about as simple as that.

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Carter (2/7/2008)
Why are people under the assumption that the franchise tag is an inherently negative thing for players? It's just a tool that is available to help manage a high priority player with limited cap space. Asante Samuel and Lance Briggs got upset about it because they wanted long term deals or to be traded. In contrast, Karlos Dansby views it as an honor and thinks it may be a necessary step to remaining with the Cardinals.

Applying the franchise tag to a player doesn't mean that the player will not be signed to a new deal the following year. If the player doesn't re-sign after the franchise tag is served, all it means is that he couldn't get the money or contract terms he wanted.

And as for the Patriots franchising Moss... I don't see it happening, but I don't know why he would complain about it. He has already said that money is not an issue in signing a deal with the Patriots and the franchise tag would net him about $7 million more in base salary alone while assuring him of another year to cement his already cast iron status. I think he will sign a new contract that pays him fairly well, but he will be cooperative in negotiating terms. He wants to be on that team... it's about as simple as that.

The franchise tag is a negative for the player involved. If a player is so well regarded that he is given the franchise tag, then he is a player that is at the top of the game. Being paid in the top 5 for his position is a given, in this free agent era. The problem is that the contract is only for one year. Football is a violent game and these players risk their careers with every play. A franchised player could have been signed to a multi =-year contract by another team and he would then have financial security.

The franchise tag helps the teams and hurts the players. I believe that "franchised" players should be given contracts that equal to the average of the top 5 players in that position and that the length of the contract should be increased to three years.

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bgarcia28 (2/7/2008)
The franchise tag is a negative for the player involved. If a player is so well regarded that he is given the franchise tag, then he is a player that is at the top of the game. Being paid in the top 5 for his position is a given, in this free agent era. The problem is that the contract is only for one year. Football is a violent game and these players risk their careers with every play. A franchised player could have been signed to a multi =-year contract by another team and he would then have financial security.

The franchise tag helps the teams and hurts the players. I believe that "franchised" players should be given contracts that equal to the average of the top 5 players in that position and that the length of the contract should be increased to three years.

Of course it benefits the team more than the player, it's a tool meant to manage cap space while allowing a team a fair shot at retaining one of their best players! But that in itself does not imply that it hurts the player. He's getting paid just as much or more than he would in the first year of a long term contract. It's only a negative if all the player is looking for is a big payday.

Whether a player gets injured or not is irrelevant to the franchise tag... medical bills are a non-issue for active NFL players (the only controversy in this regard is with retirees seeking benefits) as they are paid for if a player is injured while under contract.

If a player gets injured while under a long-term contract, they do not have any further benefits than a player under the franchise tag. Injured players can still get cut.

A franchise tag carries a guaranteed price tag equal to the average salary of the top 5 paid players at that position... the lowest franchise tag salary being $4.5 million. I'd say that's financial security. If a player with the franchise tag can't live on at least $4.5 million, that is not the NFL's or the team's problem.

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grendel (2/7/2008)
The issue is the guaranteed money. With a franchise tag, the whole amount for that one year is guaranteed, but nothing else is. If a player has a career threatening injury, that may be their last payday.

With a long-term contract for a top-tier player, there's always a huge signing bonus or other guaranteed money up front. That money gets spread out across 1-6 years for the salary cap, but the player gets the money immediately, and, as we've seen with Vick, it's difficult to get back, no matter what. Which would you rather have, if you get injured and can't play anymore, your $7 million one-year franchise money, or your $30 million signing bonus plus your $2 million salary for that year?

Personally, of course I'd rather have the deal that gives me more money... but I seriously see no reason to complain with a multi-million dollar guaranteed paycheck.

95% of the American population may make just ONE million dollars in their entire life. I feel no sympathy for the plight of naturally gifted athletes who already have millions in the bank, only looking for tens of millions more.

I'd rather my team be able to manage their cap space and retain a big time player hitting free agency.

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