February 18, 2013
Would-be NFL free agents won't be happy to get tagged
By BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady turned down a five-year, $50-million contract and will now likely get the franchise tag in Denver. (AFP)

It is a sad day on Millionaires Row in the NFL.

Monday was franchise tag day. For football’s free agents that’s the equivalent of watching your triple-scoop hit the ground with a horrible splat.

It is the beginning of a two-week window when teams can prevent one player on its roster from becoming a free agent.

Instead of a multi-year bonanza with fat bonuses, players such as Ryan Clady, who the Broncos are tagging, will be locked in servitude on a one-year contract for a pre-determined amount.

Last year 21 teams took advantage of the franchise-friendly tag, the value of which fluctuates between positions and is determined by a convoluted formula.

Teams can still sign tagged players to multi-year contracts, but it keeps the likes of Joe Flacco off the open market.


Plus, if a player doesn’t agree on a multi-year deal, the franchise tag often results in a lower salary than he would have been able to negotiate on the open market as a free agent.


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