Understanding the 2012 Franchise Tag Rules
By: The Football Girl | Posted: February 22, 2012
While the Scouting Combine begins this week, the first glimpse into the NFL’s 2012 rosters started on February 20th with the franchise tag period, which runs through March 5th.
Under the new CBA, rules for franchising a player are slightly different this year. The main process of the franchise tag is that each team can tag one player that is due to become a free agent. In past years he would be paid a one-year contract equal to average of the five highest paid players at his position for that year. But starting this year the franchised player will be paid the total franchise tenders over the past five years multiplied by the total value of the salary cap for the last five years divided by the current year's salary cap. The math may be confusing, but simply put, this new clause saves teams ample amounts of money, and in the case of the marquee positions, millions.
If a player is given an exclusive franchise tag he cannot negotiate with other teams. If he is given a non-exclusive tag, his current team has the right to match any other offers. If they decide against matching they are awarded two first-round picks
Teams can also use their franchise tag on the same player in consecutive years, an unpopular tactic from the perspective of most players.
Ray Rice and Matt Forte are among the players expected to be franchised before the March 5th deadline. Whether they sign their tags is another question. There are holdout rumors associated with both backs who feel their value to their respective teams warrants a longer-term deal.