Defensive tackle Bennie Logan is the only candidate, but it is unlikely the Eagles decide to go down that road. They have a lot of money already dedicated to the interior defensive line after giving Fletcher Cox a six-year, $102 million contract, and they have to spread their resources to other areas of need. The franchise tag for defensive tackles is expected to come in around $13 million, which is a steep price to pay for Logan’s services.
The second is the “non-exclusive” franchise tag. In this scenario, players can sign an offer sheet with another team. The original team has the opportunity to match that offer and retain the player under those exact terms, or it can allow the player to leave in exchange for two first-round draft picks from the new team. It is the average of the five-largest salaries at that position from the previous season, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary — whichever is greater.
The intent and effect of the difference in calculation is to make the exclusive-rights tender more expensive.
Do some teams use the tag more than others? While the goal would be a longer-term contract extension, the Patriots could use the tag to buy more time to strike that deal, similar to what they did with Vince Wilfork in 2010. One issue, however, is that Hightower might be more inclined to play on the one-year tag with a chance to hit the open market again in 2018.
Yes, but given the 25-year span of the tag’s existence, the numbers are more a function of talent and cap management than a philosophical opposition or support of the tag itself.
The Indianapolis Colts have used it an NFL-high 11 times, followed by the Chiefs (10) and Seattle Seahawks (10). The Texans (one), Falcons (two) and Browns (three) have been the least likely teams to apply it.