• Definition: 1. A designation given to a player by his team to keep him from leaving via free agency. According to the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, the player must be paid the average salary of the top five players at his position. 2. A term used to refer to a superstar player who is invaluable to his team. Examples: 1. A team can use the franchise tag to keep one of their more valuable free agents from leaving the team. 2. The Cincinnati Bengals made Carson Palmer the first overall pick in the NFL Draft because the felt he had the ability to be a franchise player. A club can designate one franchise player or one transition player in any given year. • The salary level offer by a player's old club determines what type of franchise player he is. • 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. • 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’s previous year’s salary, he becomes a “non-exclusive” 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). also
  • Nobody else can sign them when you franchise them, you do this when a player is to become a free agent.

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