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Franchise & Transition Tag Changes

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A lot of us have been debating the Baltimore Ravens use of the Franchise and Transition Tags that have been available to them in their continuing contract negotiations. Under the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), teams were allowed to place the Franchise Tag on a player, retaining him for one additional year at the average salary of the top five guys at that position. Transition Tags pay the salary on the average of the top ten guys at that position.

Each team was previously permitted to place one or the other tag on a player, thereby retaining a player who might otherwise become a free agent through tough negotiations at the end of their contract. Since the CBA became null and void as of March 5th of this year, teams will now be allowed to place one more additional Transition Tag on a player, thereby giving them two players to retain until they can work out a mutually agreeable long term deal.

This can be a big advantage to teams, like the Ravens who might be entering a time when a bunch of their key pieces to success are coming up for new contracts. This gives them the upper hand in negotiations and cann allow them to stagger the big contracts in order to pay one guy the big bonus along with the long term contract, while putting off the other guys for a year or so to make it fit into their financial plans, be there a salary cap or not, until the CBA is renegotiated and signed by both tehe players and the owners.

Here is the Q&A from NFLLabor.com on the Franchise & Transition Tag changes:

  • Q. In addition to the right to designate a franchise (or transition) player each capped year, will clubs be able to designate additional players if 2010 is uncapped?
  • A. Yes, one additional player can be tagged. In capped years, a club may designate a franchise player or a transition player. In the final league year (2010), a club may designate one additional transition player.