The NFL kicks off 2020 free agency in a little under three weeks, but in the meantime, teams can begin using their franchise and transition tags on players they want to keep away from the open market. The NFL and NFLPA are negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement that could change some of the work rules, but for the time being, teams are allowed to use one franchise tag and one transition tag.
What is the franchise tag?
There are two types of franchise tags: the non-exclusive and the exclusive rights. The exclusive tag means a player cannot negotiate with any other team. The non-exclusive allows for negotiating with other teams, and if the player signs an offer sheet with one those teams and his previous team does not match it, the new team has to give up two first round draft picks as compensation.
If a player is tagged and does not sign an offer sheet elsewhere, he has until July 15th to sign a long-term extension with his current team. If a deal is not done by 4:00 p.m. ET on July 15th, the player must play the season under the one-year franchise tender salary.
Franchise tag salary: A player gets a one-year tender with the franchise tag assuming a long-term deal is not reached. This tag pays a player either the average salary of the top five highest-paid players at his position or 120 percent of his salary from the previous year, whichever is higher. Over The Cap provides current salary projections for the franchise tag.
What is the transition tag?
This simply allows for the right of first refusal on any contract offer. If a player signs an offer sheet with another team and his original team chooses not to match it, there is no compensation.
Transition tag salary: A player gets a one-year tender with the transition tag assuming a long-term deal is not reached. This tag provides the player the average of the top-10 salaries of players at his position. Over The Cap provides current salary projections for the transition tag.
Who is being tagged?
Chris Jones, DT, Kansas City Chiefs
Ian Rapoport is reporting the Chiefs will tag Jones. Rapoport tweeted that the team, “views him in their long-term plans and hopes to get a deal done at some point.”
Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Adam Schefter is reporting the Bucs will tag Barrett if they cannot get a long-term deal done in the next week. This would mean they cannot franchise Jameis Winston.
Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Adam Schefter is reporting the Jags will tag Ngakoue. The defensive end tweeted that he is no longer interested in signing a long-term deal with Jacksonville.
Matthew Judon, OLB, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are expected to use the franchise tag on Judon, per ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are expected to use the franchise tag on Henry, per ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Leonard Williams, DE, New York Giants
The Giants are expected to give Williams the franchise or transition tag if a long-term deal can’t be agreed upon, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan