21 of the NFL's 32 teams exercised their option to use the franchise "tag" on a player from their roster who was bound for free agency.
Franchise Player Definitions
A club can designate one “franchise” player or one “transition” player among its veteran free agents.
The salary offer by a player’s club determines whether the franchise player designation is exclusive or non-exclusive.
An “exclusive” franchise player – not free to sign with another club – is offered the greater of (i) the average of the top five salaries at the player's position for the current year as of the end of the Restricted Free Agent Signing Period on April 20; or (ii) the amount of the Required Tender for a non-exclusive franchise player, as explained below.
The methodology for calculating the Required Tender for a non-exclusive franchise player has changed. Formerly, such players were tendered a one year NFL Player Contract for the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position at which the Franchise Player played the most games during the prior League Year, or 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater.
Article 10, Section 2(a)(i) of the CBA sets forth the new methodology, known as the “Cap Percentage Average,” for calculating the Required Tender for such a player:
The Nonexclusive Franchise Tender shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for (A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position . . . at which the Franchise Player participated in the most plays [formerly, “games”] during the prior League Year, which average shall be calculated by: (1) summing the amounts of the Franchise Tags for players at that position for the five preceding League Years; (2) dividing the resulting amount by the sum of the Salary Caps for the five preceding League Years . . . ; and (3) multiplying the resulting percentage by the Salary Cap for the upcoming League Year . . . (the “Cap Percentage Average”) . . . ; or (B) 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater . . . .If a club extends a Required Tender to a non-exclusive franchise player pursuant to this section, the player shall be permitted to negotiate a player contract with any club, except that draft choice compensation of two first round draft selections shall be made in the event he signs with a new club.
The signing period for franchise players begins at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on March 13 and ends on the Tuesday following the 10th week of the season (November 13).
There are no transition player designations this year.
2012 FRANCHISE PLAYERS
|Kansas City||Bowe, Dwayne|
|New England||Welker, Wes|
|New Orleans||Brees, Drew**|
|New York Giants||Weatherford, Steve|
|San Francisco||Goldson, Dashon|
|Tampa Bay||Barth, Connor|