The franchise tag is a National Football League designation that is used in order to retain an unrestricted free agent. There are two types of franchise tag designations: the exclusive rights franchise tag, and non-exclusive rights franchise tag:
* An "exclusive" franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount equal to or greater than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position as of a date in April of the "current" year in which the tag will apply, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. Exclusive franchise players cannot negotiate with other teams.
* A "non-exclusive" franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount equal to or greater than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position in the previous year, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. A non-exclusive franchise player may negotiate with other NFL teams, but if he signs an offer sheet from another team, the original team has a right to match the terms of that offer, or if it does not match the offer and thus loses the player, to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.
Usually designated for players of great skill or of high importance to the team, a franchise tag allows a team's managers the privilege of strategically retaining valuable free-agent players while seeking talent through the NFL draft or other acquisitions without exceeding the League's salary cap.
A team may only give one player a franchise tag each year. It is the team's choice whether it is exclusive or non-exclusive. While it may seem that a team would always choose the exclusive option, there are two reasons a team might prefer the non-exclusive option instead. The first is that the salary is based on the top 5 salaries of the previous year instead of the current year, which could be a significant difference. The second reason is that a team may want the opportunity for two first-round draft picks.
A club can designate one franchise player or one transition player in any given year.
鈥?The salary level offer by a player's old club determines what type of franchise player he is.
鈥?An "exclusive" franchise player -- not free to sign with another club -- is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries at the player's position as of April 16, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater.
鈥?If the player is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries of last season at his position, or 120 percent of the player鈥檚 previous year鈥檚 salary, he becomes a 鈥渘on-exclusive鈥?franchise player and can negotiate with other clubs. His old club can match a new club's offer, or receive two first-round draft choices if it decides not to match.
The signing period for non-exclusive franchise players to sign with new clubs is March 3 through November 9 (10th week of the season).
鈥?A transition player has received a minimum offer of the average of the top 10 salaries of last season at the player's position or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater.
鈥?A transition player designation gives the club a first-refusal right to match within seven days an offer sheet given to the player by another club after his contract expires. If the club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no compensation. Transition players can be signed from March 3 through July 22."
It means the average the top salaries of other players at his position around the league and thats the amount he gets paid, its a one year deal and its usually only a last chance effort when the team is having difficulty agreeing to terms on a contract with a player....
and on a totally unrelated note, I find it amusing that people have time to go around and search for the wikipedia page for every answer....and dont trust those pages, My friend completely made up a war and put a page on there for it and it has like 1 million hits so...yea