Franchise Tags go to free agents

NFL teams starting to place tags on elite players

WRITTEN BY: Kara Menini
Franchise tag was put on DeSean Jackson
Image Source: Matthew Straubmuller via Flickr
Franchise tag was put on DeSean Jackson

Franchise tags are being pinned all over the place this week.  Many players, who have recently become unrestricted free agents, are starting to be picked up all over the league.  Some franchise tags are being placed on cornerback Brent Grimes, running back Ray Rice, safety Dashon Goldson and wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Franchise tags this year will be placed on “an unusually large class of 17 unrestricted free agents,” said the Associated Press.

Brent Grimes, who is viewed as one of the elite cornerbacks in the league, was tagged by the Atlanta Falcons with a $10 million contract.  Ray Rice was designated franchise player for the Baltimore Ravens with a $7.7 million contract.  Dashon Goldson, who had been set to become a free agent on March 13, had a franchise tag placed on him by the San Francisco 49ers for around $6.2 million.  DeSean Jackson was tagged by the Philadelphia Eagles for at least $9.4 million.      

Franchise tags, for those who don’t have NFL lingo in their vocabulary, are used on players of high importance to the team or who posses a great skill.  A franchise tag can be put on a free agent player or a player with two or more years left on their contract.  The franchised player will have one year salary guaranteed as long as he follows certain conditions.  Each team is able to use one franchise tag a year, so only one player a year is designated as the team’s franchise player. The system was designed to reduce the level of player movement.

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