You have to sympathize with these poor, poor football players who were given the Franchise Tag by their NFL teams. Both the players and their respective teams would have preferred to sign long-term deals that would ensure the player's financial future as well as be more "cap-friendly" to the team. However, with the negotiations not settled by the league deadline, the teams felt their best bet for now was to place the tag on the player, thereby "buying" them time to negotiate a better deal in the long run.
However, do not shed any tears for these players who want the long-term deal, as the one payday they will be receiving this year should be more than enough to ensure financial security for the rest of their lives if they play their cards right. As the rules of the Franchise Tag states, the player must be paid the average of the top five players in the league at their specific position.
That means that Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will have to "settle" for only making $7.7 million in 2011,although he'd much rather obviously have a multi-year deal similar to what Arian Foster and Marshawn Lynch recently signed with their current teams. New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees is reportedly "livid" with his Franchise Tag that will pay him upwards of $17 million in 2011, according to NFL.com and may not sign it and report when Training Camp opens unless a multi-year deal is signed.
To all of them, I say, "boo hoo hoo, call the wah-bulance!"