So about that franchise tag. The NFLPA disputes the leagues claim that NFL team will be able to use the franchise tag in a memo to all NFLPA certified agents.
“We have received reports that the NFL is advising clubs that they can place a franchise tag on players whose contracts will expire at the end of the 2010 league year,” the Union says in the memo, via Pro Football Talk.
“The current CBA provides that ‘each club shall be permitted to designate one of its players who would otherwise be an Unrestricted Free Agent [or Restricted Free Agent] as a Franchise Player each season during the term of this Agreement.
“If you have had any discussions with clubs about their intent to use the Franchise designation for the 2011 season please contact the NFLPA to discuss this matter. Meanwhile, we will make sure that the rights of any players improperly designated will be protected.”
It looks like the Franchise tag will be another issue that will have to hatched out during the upcoming CBA negotiations.
Earlier in the week the NFL announced that the franchise tag will be available for teams to use as of February 10th. The isn’t all that surprising considering that NFL teams were already under the assumption that the tag would be available to them despite not having a new CBA in place.
Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe spoke with NFL senior vice president and general counsel Peter Rucco who explained the situation in better detail.
“The CBA hasn’t expired and the CBA has the right to franchise players so we are telling clubs that you have the right to franchise players and then depending on what the new agreement says, that will take into account,” explained Rucco. “Neither party is proposing to get rid of the franchise tag. But as far as we’re concerned, clubs have the right to tag players, the agreement continues with the same terms and conditions that it has been; it isn’t expiring until March 4 and the window to franchise players is 14 days. From our standpoint, you have every right to franchise players.”
One other aspect to consider is that this years free agent crop will be the largest pool of players in the history of free agency which will likely translate into the largest number of players that will receive the franchise tag. Here’s an earlier look a the most likely targets.
Carolina Panthers – DeAngelo Williams
Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Joseph, Cedric Benson
Dallas Cowboys – Doug Free
Green Bay Packers – Cullen Jenkins
Indianapolis Colts – Peyton Manning
Kansas City Chiefs – Tamba Hali
Minnesota Vikings – Chad Greenway
New England Patriots – Logan Mankins
New York Jets – David Harris, Santonio Holmes
Philadelphia Eagles – Michael Vick
Pittsburgh Steelers – LaMarr Woodley
San Diego Chargers – Vincent Jackson
Tennessee Titans – Justin Baben
Washington Redskins – Santana Moss