Home » NFL franchise tag, explained: meanings, deadlines, updated status values ​​and rules for tags in 2021

NFL franchise tag, explained: meanings, deadlines, updated status values ​​and rules for tags in 2021

NFL teams may impose franchise or transition tags on players who were set to become free agents in 2021 in a two-week window from February 23 to February 20. Franchise tags (and transition tags) have just that: a mechanism allowing teams to use “franchise” designated players from unrestricted or restricted free-agency markets.

Because a franchise tag is a tool used by teams to lock players into one-year deals, players are generally not tagged. The positive for tagged players is that one-year deals are guaranteed, and salaries represent the average (if not more) of the top five highest-paid players at their positions. The player's guaranteed salary for that season is attractive, but such a tag does not provide the player with long-term protection.

A franchise tag still leaves room for negotiating a long-term contract. July 15 is left for teams to tag the NFL deadline and players in 2021 and sign a multi-year extension. In the past six years, nearly half of franchise-tagged players have received such deals.

The trend for NFL teams was to prohibit the use of tags before 2020. But last year, the teams took advantage of the expansion and changes related to a new collective bargaining agreement, with 15 players tagged at various prices including positions, including the Cowboys quarterback Dack a special designation and the Cardinals' Kenian Put the transition tag to run back. With the salary cap being around $ 180 million, fewer, more calculated tags should be used in 2021.

Three types of tag teams can be used between February 23 and March 9 – non-exclusive franchise tags, exclusive franchise tags, and transition tags. The definition and rules of the three are given below. (All definitions and rules are Article 10 Of the current NFL / NFLPA collective bargaining agreement.)

More: Duck Prescott's contract status with the Cowboys, explained

What is a franchise tag in the NFL?

  • Non-exclusive franchise tag

Definition and Rules: There will be a one-year NFL player contract for a non-exclusive franchise tender …

– (A) The average of the five largest prior year salaries for players, in which case the franchise player participated in the most plays during the prior league year, which would be calculated by the average:

  1. Summary of franchise tag amounts for players at that location for five preceding league years
  2. The resulting amount divided by the sum of the salary cap for the five preceding league years
  3. Multiplying the resulting percentage by the salary cap for the upcoming league year

– or (B) 120 percent of his prior year's salary, whichever is higher.

If the team extends the tender for this sub-section, the player will be allowed to negotiate a player contract with any club, except with the option of compensation for two first-round draft selections in such a manner Will be signed with respect to the player of. New club.

Meaning: Non-exclusive tags are most commonly used. This means that a team will pay the tagged player less than the average of the five highest salaries in the player's position in the last five years, or 120 percent of the player's cap number from the previous season, whichever is greater. The player is allowed to negotiate with other teams, but his current team can match any offer letter. If a player's current team matches another team's offer, he will be awarded two first-round drafts as compensation.

Definition and Rules: There will be a one-year NFL player contract for the special franchise tender …

– (A) The average of the five largest salaries in a player contract for the league year that is at the end of the restricted free-agent signing period that is the league year

– or (b) the amount of tender required under sub-section above, whichever is higher.

Meaning: Exclusive tags are more rare. Only the Steelers who are running Le'Veon Bell (2017), Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​(2017), Broncos linebacker Von Miller (2016) and Saints quarterback Drew Trees (2012) have received the exclusive tag since 2012. Salary is calculated in a way. The formula for players is similar to issuing non-exclusive tags, but rather than averaging the top five salaries in player positions over the past five years, the particular tag is currently worth the average of the top five salaries at their position in the year. Unlike those receiving non-exclusive tags, a particular tagged player may not interact with other teams.

Definition and RulesEach club will be allowed to nominate a player who would otherwise be an unrestricted free agent as the transition player in (2020) … as a franchise during the same designation period.
Player Designation Period.

Any club that designates a transition player will receive the first refusal rights specified in this article, regardless of the number of seasons it has accrued. Any transition player will be completely free to negotiate and sign any contract with any club from the first day of the league year after their final player contract expires on July 22, and any club to negotiate Shall be completely independent of and sign a player contract with such player, including fines or restrictions, but on limited compensation draft between clubs of any type, subject to the right of first club refusal only No.

Any club that designates a transition player will be deemed to have expired on the first day of the league year after the player's final contract expires, which automatically bids the player for a one-year NFL player contract …

– (A) The ten largest prior-year cap percentage averages for players in position

– or (B) 120 percent of their prior year's salary, whichever is higher.

The tender can be withdrawn at any time, but if such tender is withdrawn, the player immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent. For the purposes of this subsection, the “transition tag” for any league year is the average of the ten largest prior year salaries for players for that position.

Meaning: Transition tags pay a player an average of the 10 highest-paid players in his place. A tagged player is allowed to interact with other teams. The player's current team can match any offer made to a transitioned player, but the team will not be compensated if they decide not to match.

Nfl franchise tag deadline 2021

For teams that tag players, there is a deadline for those clubs to sign long-term contract extensions to those players July 15 at 4 pm ET. If a tagged player does not have an extension according to that deadline, he will play the season on the tag.

How many times can a team franchise tag a player in the NFL?

Players can be tagged in consecutive years, but the team will have to pay more each year to the player they are tagged with. (Kirk Cousins ​​can tell you all about it.) A player must be given a two-year tag for the franchise directly, with the team paying 120 percent of the player's previous salary. If it is three years, the team will have to pay the player 144 percent of their previous salary.

From the CBA: Any club that nominates a player for the third time as a franchise player is made a third such designation on that date, which is considered as a tender for more than a player's one-year NFL player contract is. .

– (A) The average of the five largest prior year salaries for players in the position with such highest average

– (B) 120 percent of the five greatest prior year averages for players at which player participated in the most plays during the first league year.

– or (c) 144 percent of his prior year's salary.

If the club nominates the player for the third time as a franchise player, the designated club will be the only club with which the player can contract or the player can sign the contract.

Nfl franchise tag values ​​for 2021

The following are estimates by franchise and transition tag values OverTheCap.com $ 180.5 million is based on salary cap. The numbers are lower than they were last time, with notable exceptions from players who were franchise-tagged last year and might be re-tagged this year, such as Prescott, Broncos safety Justin Simmons, Chargers tight end Hunter Henry and Washington guard Brandon Shroff.

Per Over Cap, “franchise and transaction tenders are calculated by adding the corresponding tag numbers, divided by the sum of the salary cap, from the last five seasons, and finally multiplied by the current season's salary cap.”

Post. Franchise tag Transition tag
QB $ 24,112,000 $ 21,749,000
Day $ 17,752,000 $ 14,811,000
WR $ 16,430,000 $ 14,269,000
CB $ 15,266,000 $ 13,202,000
LB $ 15,657,000 $ 13,406,000
Official language $ 14,507,000 $ 13,156,000
DT $ 14,178,000 $ 11,405,000
S $ 11,196,000 $ 9,550,000
RB $ 11,112,000 $ 8,942,000
Te $ 10,167,000 $ 9,267,000
scheduled tribe $ 4,792,000 $ 4,382,000

NFL franchise tagged players

Below are NFL players who have received franchise and transition tags in the last five years.

* – Transition Tag
** – Exclusive franchise tag
*** – Tag saved


Teams are yet to nominate any players for the current offense. A look at the eight best candidates for the franchise tag in 2021:


The player Post Team
Shaquille Barrett LB Buccaneers
Kenyan Drake * RB Cardinals
Bud twilight OLB Steelers
Aj green WR Bengal
Anthony Harris S Vikings
Derrick henry RB Titans
Hunter henry Te Chargers
Chris jones DT Chiefs
Matthew Judon LB Crows
Yanik Ngakouye Day Jaguar (traded for Vikings)
Duck prescott ** QB Cowboys
Brandon Shroff Yes Washington Football Team
Justin simmons S Bronchos
Joe Thuni Yes Patriot
Leonard williams DT The giants


The player Post Team
Frank clark Day Seahawks
Jadevan Clooney Day Texas
De ford LB Chiefs
Robbie Gold K 49th
Grady Jarrett DT Falcon
Demerkus Lawrence Day Cowboys


The player Post Team
Jarvis Landry WR The dolphin
Lamarcus Joyner Database Rams
Jigi Ansah Day Lions
Demerkus Lawrence Day Cowboys
Kyle Fuller * CB Bear


The player Post Team
Cancer Cousin ** QB Redskins
Le'vonne Bell ** RB Steelers
Tramine Johnson CB Rams
Kavan Chhot DT Panthers
Chandler Jones Day Cardinals


The player Post Team
Cancer cousin QB Redskins
Muhammad Wilkerson Day The jet
Justin tucker K Crows
Josh Norman *** CB Panthers
Eric Berry S Chiefs
Von miller ** OLB Bronchos
Alshon Jeffrey WR Bear
Tramine Johnson CB Rams
Cordy glen OT Bills


The player Post Team
Damarious Thomas WR Bronchos
Justin houston OLB Chiefs
Dez bryant WR Cowboys
Jason Pierre-Paul Day The giants
Stefan Gostkowski K Patriot
Charles Clay * Te The dolphin

Todd Haslap contributed to this article.