NFL Free Agency 2020: 9 Players Who May Get Franchise Tag

John Healy
February 17, 2020 - 11:45 am

Before NFL free agency begins, teams will be given the opportunity to place either the franchise tag or transition tag on unrestricted free agents.

Teams can begin using the franchise and transition tag on Feb. 25, and have until March 10, six days before free agency negotiations can begin, to use the tag on players.

The franchise tag comes in two forms — exclusive and non-exclusive. Teams have until July 15 to reach terms on a long-term contract with anyone who has been placed on the franchise tag, or play on a one-year tender.

Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag

The non-exclusive tag is what is most commonly used when speaking of the franchise tag. This is a one-year tender offer which amounts to no less than the average of the top five salaries at that players' position over the last five years, or 120 percent of his current salary, whichever is greater. Players can negotiate deals with other teams, however, the players' current team has the right to match any offer. If a team does not match, they get two first-round draft picks as compensation, making it extremely rare for the non-exclusive tagged player to sign with another team.

Exclusive Franchise Tag

The exclusive franchise tag is slightly different. It is a one-year tender offer which amounts to no less than the average of the top five salaries at that players' position for the current year, or 120 percent of his current salary, whichever is greater. A player cannot negotiate with another team. This tag is most often applied to quarterbacks, or players whose value would warrant two first-round picks.

Transition Tag

The transition tag is an alternative to the franchise tag, where teams can offer a one-year tender for the average of the top 10 salaries at that players' position, instead of the top five. This results in the transition tag being less money than the franchise tag. Players can also negotiate with other teams, but the original club has the right of first refusal to match any offer. There is no compensation if the original club chooses not to match, though, making it a little trickier for teams to navigate.

Below are some of the notable players who could potentially be placed under the franchise tag this offseason:

Franchise tag projections via overthecap.com

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