One of the main mile markers of the NFL offseason has now come and gone. Up until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, teams across the NFL had the ability to place the franchise or transition tag on soon-to-be free agents. Leading up to that point, each team can designate one player with either tag, which effectively retains them for the upcoming season. If the club decided against placing a player with the tag, they would be heading towards free agency where they’ll be able to ink a deal with whichever club they want. 

This year, there were a number of stars hit with the tag and a few others that found themselves free to explore the open market. Below, we’ll give you a quick rundown of what each tag specifically means and then a recap of the action that unfolded leading up through the deadline. 

How do the tags work?

Franchise tags are essentially one-year contract offers that come in two forms: exclusive and non-exclusive.Exclusive tags restrict negotiating rights to the tagging team and pay out an average of the top five salaries at the player’s position in the current year, or 120% of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater.Non-exclusive tags, which are more common, pay out an average of the top five tag amounts at the player’s position from the previous five years (applied to the current cap), or 120% of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. Players who receive this tag can negotiate with other teams, but the tagging team has the right to match any offer — and would also receive two first-round draft picks in the event the player signs elsewhere.Transition tags are also one-year contract offers. They pay out an average of the top 10 salaries at the player’s position. Players who receive this tag can negotiate with other teams, but the tagging team has the right to match any offer. If the tagging team declines to match, it would not receive any compensation…..

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