The new league year in the NFL officially begins on March 16 at 4 p.m ET. However, before we get to that point, teams still have some time to apply either the franchise or transition tag. Teams can only use one franchise or transition tag each year.
There are two different types of franchise tags — non-exclusive and exclusive. The non-exclusive is what most NFL teams use and is a one-year tender of the average top-five players at a certain position over the last five years.
With the non-exclusive tag, players can still negotiate with other team, but their current team has the right to match any offer. However, if said player moves on, then his old team can receive two first-round draft picks.
As for the non-exclusive franchise tag, it’s the average of the top five salaries at a certain position for the current year. Unlike the non-exclusive tag, players cannot talk with other teams.
Lastly, the transition tag is a one-year tender offer for the average of the top-10 salaries at a certain position. Teams do not receive compensation if they ultimately decide to not match a deal for said player.
When can NFL teams start to apply franchise/transition tags?
This year, NFL teams can start applying the franchise/transition tags on Tuesday, February 22 until Tuesday, March 8.
Who are potential franchise tag candidates?
Some potential franchise tag candidates are Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson, Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr., and Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams.