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Next franchise-tag battle could be three-tag limit

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Now that arbitrator Stephen Burbank has ruled that franchise tags stack when applied to the same player by different teams, the next big question under Article 10 of the labor deal is whether a player can be limited by the franchise tag more than three times in his career.

The CBA says nothing about the use of a franchise tag on a given player more than three times.  That could invite an argument by the NFLPA and any given player who hopes to avoid a fourth career application of the franchise tag that it’s simply not possible.

The NFL would argue that, because the CBA contains no prohibition on the use of the franchise tag a fourth time, it can be used a fourth time, and beyond.  The NFLPA would argue that, because the CBA does not expressly contemplate the use of the franchise tag a fourth time, it can’t be applied to any player more than three times.

Given Tuesday’s ruling, which applied a narrow view of the CBA that benefits players and makes use of the franchise tag more cumbersome for teams, it wouldn’t be a surprise for arbitrator Stephen Burbank to rule that no player may be tagged more than three times.

It also wouldn’t be a surprise if that’s the next issue dropped on Burbank’s docket.

Now that Saints quarterback Drew Brees has obtained a ruling on the hypothetical use of the franchise tag in 2013, why not raise the stakes and seek a ruling that, after 2013, the Saints couldn’t use the tag on Brees again?

At least in this context, the dice seem to be hot for the union.  Brees and the NFLPA should give them another roll.

Then again, the NFLPA already has secured a major victory.  If the tag can be used a fourth time, the player would be entitled to yet another 44-percent raise.  For Brees, that translates to a one-year salary and cap number of $33.94 million in 2014.  There’s no way any team could be competitive with that much cap space tied up in one player, which means there’s no way the Saints would use the franchise tag on Brees for the fourth time in his career.

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18 Responses to “Next franchise-tag battle could be three-tag limit”
  1. bigchoreographer says: Jul 3, 2012 11:05 PM

    BORING!!! Drew Brees should just shut up and take whatever the Saints are offering him. And the rest of the Saints’ cheaters should just shut up and take whatever suspension Goodell gives them. If it takes a lawyer arguing on your behalf to get something for you, you don’t deserve it and should just take what the other side is offering. When are these dummies going to stop complaining and just play football (or sit out a whole season, and not play football, as the case may be)?

  2. txtuff says: Jul 3, 2012 11:11 PM

    If a NFL player was getting a 4th tag why would he complain!! That would would make 4 awesome one year pay days!

  3. lightcleric says: Jul 3, 2012 11:20 PM

    As a Saints fan, I really hope Drew gets his deal done so he can go back to work, stop blowing up his public image every day and we can stop hearing about it…

  4. coltsluckdynasty says: Jul 3, 2012 11:40 PM

    Funny, with all of the saints problems, all drew brees is worried about is his pay. What a joke this guy is becoming, the poster boy for greed! I know, whatever, I am a hater, but seriously, enjoy your money drew! I hope you can help coach Payton out with his child support payments….

  5. matthewcarlson1 says: Jul 3, 2012 11:46 PM

    There has never been a player more “in control” than Brees is in this situation. He single-handedly makes the team. Saints fans, remember before Brees came to NO? Of course you don’t because there were no Saints fans, because the team was horrible. Don’t get too comfy, once Brees is gone its back to the cellar.

  6. gotampabay52 says: Jul 3, 2012 11:59 PM

    screw dat go bucs

  7. TheJStyles says: Jul 4, 2012 12:32 AM

    Why 3? How about 1?

    The team get’s to tag a player one time. They get that year and next off-season to work on a long term deal, if they can’t, then move on…

  8. rabbdogg says: Jul 4, 2012 12:41 AM

    drew brees says: Hi haters!!!

  9. benchwarmer69 says: Jul 4, 2012 1:02 AM

    I sure hope Brees keeps talking.

    Signed, a Bucs fan.

  10. adonisberg says: Jul 4, 2012 1:48 AM

    To the people who disagree with brees seeking a long term deal. You don’t understand brees has never had a elite deal or a deal even close to what he’s worth. Vick has had 2 $100 mil deals. P manning….2 as well. Brady 1. Brees 0. Dude deserves nice contract. Not a 1 year nice contract a 6 year nice contract. Hate him for asking what he’s worth. You would do the same….I’m a Raider fan FYI

  11. ravenmuscle says: Jul 4, 2012 5:13 AM

    Supreme Court rulings…Obamacare…Drew Brees….Roger Goodell rulings

    How about just watching some fireworks…..shutting the f##k up about litigation and just be quiet until training camps open and the pre-season games start.

    They should just line all lawyers up and send them to Syria….Mr. Ginsberg should do real well with a name like that in Syria.

  12. mp42245 says: Jul 4, 2012 5:54 AM

    bigchoreographer says:
    Jul 3, 2012 11:05 PM
    BORING!!! Drew Brees should just shut up and take whatever the Saints are offering him. And the rest of the Saints’ cheaters should just shut up and take whatever suspension Goodell gives them. If it takes a lawyer arguing on your behalf to get something for you, you don’t deserve it and should just take what the other side is offering. When are these dummies going to stop complaining and just play football (or sit out a whole season, and not play football, as the case may be

    Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    I really don’t think Bree’s brought this up. I think Florio couldn’t sleep last night and dreamed up this stuff with his little brain. Ya really need to get out more Mike and quit giving the haters to look so stupid.

  13. schmokes says: Jul 4, 2012 7:34 AM

    It’s amazing how many things the NFLPA didn’t bother negotiating for in the new CBA.

  14. andrewfbrowne says: Jul 4, 2012 10:21 AM

    Isn’t the CBA agreement more than 1000 pages? It is not remarkable all the stuff that keeps coming up that is not covered in it?

    The thing that bugs me is that the Saints signed Brees to a 6 year 60 million deal that the entire league thought was waaay too much considering his multiple shoulder injuries. He rewarded the Saints for it obviously, but they took a huge chance on him and overpaid at the time.

    That is what bugs me about this, is that is quickly cast aside and forgotten. Had the Saints not stepped up, he would have half of that somewhere else.

  15. trubroncfan07 says: Jul 4, 2012 11:17 AM

    Three times is way to much as well.

  16. mancave001 says: Jul 4, 2012 11:23 AM

    adonisberg says:
    Jul 4, 2012 1:48 AM
    To the people who disagree with brees seeking a long term deal…..

    ———————————-

    Brees has made decent money, though not “elite” money, I agree. However, look at what the Saints have offered him. Their most recent is more than $19 million a year. Come on. 19 freakin’ million, and it’s not enough?

  17. CKL says: Jul 4, 2012 3:32 PM

    I don’t get how the NFLPA could argue that simply because the amount of tagged occurrences are not defined that it means they are limited to three tags.

  18. mrpowers88 says: Jul 4, 2012 5:43 PM

    Considering the CBA doesn’t consider if a guy could be tagged by 2 different teams in his career (and the players won that argument), I’m gonna guess if the question of a 4th franchise tag comes to arbitration, similar reasoning would be used (i.e. you can’t tag a guy 4 times)

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