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NFL teams use nine franchise tags, one transition tag

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 03: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins looks for an open receiver against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline to use franchise and transition tags has come and gone and nearly a third of the league’s 32 teams took advantage of the opportunity to better their chances of holding onto one of their pending free agents this season.

Nine teams used the franchise tag this year, up from five last year, and Broncos linebacker Von Miller became the first player to receive the exclusive version of the tag since Saints quarterback Drew Brees in 2012. That version of the tag calls for Miller to be paid a salary equal to the average of the five highest-paid linebackers for the 2016 season, a number that will be calculated in April although Miller can still sign a long-term deal with Denver through July 15.

That’s also true of the eight players who received the non-exclusive franchise tag. Those players are: Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson ($15.701 million); Ravens kicker Justin Tucker ($4.572 million); Bills tackle Cordy Glenn ($13.706 million); Panthers cornerback Josh Norman ($13.952 million); Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson ($13.952 million); Chiefs safety Eric Berry ($10.806 million); Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery ($14.599 million) and Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins ($19.953 million).

All of those players may negotiate with other teams, although their current teams would be owed two first-round picks if they opt not to match an offer sheet. The tags can be rescinded until the players sign them and their salaries would be guaranteed when and if they do sign.

Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon was the sole transition tag recipient. It’s the second year in a row that the Dolphins have used the tag, which gives teams the right to match other offers but no compensation should the player move on as tight end Charles Clay did when the Bills signed him last year. Vernon would make $12.734 million if he plays out the year in Miami under the terms of the tag.

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20 Responses to “NFL teams use nine franchise tags, one transition tag”
  1. ttommytom says: Mar 1, 2016 5:34 PM

    Texas signs Cousins. (Wash gets two 1st rounders).

    Cleveland drafts Goff.

    Washington trades three 1st rounders to San Diego and drafts Wentz. (deja vu all over again).

    Dallas is stuck with no back-up for Romo except Manziel or RG3.

    No way Texas does this, right?

    Imagine if Texas had ONE competent semi-QB? Cousins is way more than that. That team would love him.

  2. phinfan says: Mar 1, 2016 5:38 PM

    Whys miami the only team using tags? Its not like we are kings of intelligence down there.

  3. jgedgar70 says: Mar 1, 2016 5:46 PM

    Word on the street is that Josh Norman wants $14-15M per year. He’s getting $14M with the franchise tag. I don’t see what there is to negotiate about. Sign him long term, DG!

  4. flyinghighphil says: Mar 1, 2016 5:53 PM

    Glad the RAMS chose Tru over Jenkins .Tru was much better last year. Hope we can bring JANORIS back as well. Kind of doubt it someone will surely overpay for him.use money o bring back Barron, McLeoud. Sign a few others to help out. Wouldn’t mind seeing Incognito playing for RAMS again seems he learned a lesson,could help out the o.l.

  5. keylimelight says: Mar 1, 2016 6:21 PM

    TWO? first round picks for the non-exclusive tag?

    I am not familiar with the players that are listed but can anyone say that any of these guys are worth 2 first round picks?

  6. torchsandaardvarks says: Mar 1, 2016 6:28 PM

    “TWO? first round picks for the non-exclusive tag?

    I am not familiar with the players that are listed but can anyone say that any of these guys are worth 2 first round picks?”
    The team who would do it most likely are picking around 30th. With the new player they expect to make the Superbowl thus losing less and try to get their big win.

  7. djaehne says: Mar 1, 2016 7:03 PM

    The Texans will not offer anything to Cousins. Get real, dude. Build through the draft.

  8. tedmurph says: Mar 1, 2016 7:24 PM

    Teams never give up 2 1rst rnd picks in these situations. They basically work out a sign and trade to a team willing to do a long term deal, like the Chiefs did with JAllen(1 1rst rnd from Minn). Can’t see Washington doing it though. If they trade Cousins to say Texans for #22, then what?

  9. cornersss says: Mar 1, 2016 7:59 PM

    So whats the diffrence between the franchise tag Miller got and the other 8 players? You should have explained that.

  10. codiablo says: Mar 1, 2016 8:09 PM

    Sounds like every GM minus the Berry and Jeffery deal aren’t doing their job right – these other guys should have been locked up way before this.

  11. mianfr says: Mar 1, 2016 8:18 PM

    I’m a Jets fan and love Wilkerson, but isn’t it sort of ridiculous that he’ll be making $1.5M more than Von Miller next season? I mean I think most of us would trade him for Miller straight up and expect Miller to come out of this with a long term contract worth more. I think that would be true without Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams on the roster, too.

  12. pftbro says: Mar 1, 2016 8:32 PM

    I’m surprised the Ratbirds didn’t franchise TRich, Bwaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaa……

  13. tedmurph says: Mar 1, 2016 9:15 PM

    Wilkerson will not make more than Miller this year, if they both play for the tag. Wilkerson will make 15.7, the ave for the top 5 DE over the last 5 yrs, as a non exclusive FT. Miller, as an exclusive rights FT, will earn an undetermined amount equal to the average of the top 5 DEs in 2016, which will almost certainly be more. They’ll both end up with long term deals anyway, which will lower their cap hits. Neither team has a lot of wiggle room.

  14. joedirte says: Mar 1, 2016 10:07 PM

    Vernon will be a Jaguar

  15. cardiaccatsbackin2013 says: Mar 1, 2016 10:19 PM

    Exclusive tag is the average of the Top 5 highest paid players, if I am not mistaken. Miller is definitely worth two first-rounders. I’d argue that Eric Berry might be also.

  16. wrlegrand says: Mar 1, 2016 10:39 PM

    I’m a Panthers fan, but there is no way I give Norman 6 years and $90 million. He’s a fantastic player, but we still have to sign Kewan Short long term. He is a terror.

  17. dreadnok89 says: Mar 2, 2016 7:39 AM

    I’m a Jets fan and love Wilkerson, but isn’t it sort of ridiculous that he’ll be making $1.5M more than Von Miller next season? I mean I think most of us would trade him for Miller straight up and expect Miller to come out of this with a long term contract worth more. I think that would be true without Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams on the roster, too.

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    Thats easy. Wilkerson is a pure great defensive end force. He had double the tackels and like 5 less sacks. Miller plays more outside linebacker. And his stats went down after he got in trouble for doping.

  18. dreadnok89 says: Mar 2, 2016 7:41 AM

    Buyers beware on malik jackson. With all that talent on that line jackson still has less sacks in 4 years than jj watt does in 1 year

  19. laxcoach37 says: Mar 2, 2016 8:15 PM

    I am happy the Dolphins are being frugal with Olivier Vernon. His success was a direct result of Cameron Wake when he was in or N. Suh. Don’t get me wrong… this is not a sour grapes thing. He is good, but not worth this money. He just got lucky that he is the only Pass Rushing DE worth squat in FA. If he gets more money from a Cap flush team good for him, but the Dolphins need to get affordable players playing .500 football for years means you can sign anyone and probably get your finances in order and have just as a good a chance at .500. It pained me to write that, but it is true.

  20. fanofpft says: Mar 4, 2016 7:02 PM

    laxcoach37 says:
    Mar 2, 2016 8:15 PM

    I am happy the Dolphins are being frugal with Olivier Vernon. His success was a direct result of Cameron Wake when he was in or N. Suh. Don’t get me wrong… this is not a sour grapes thing. He is good, but not worth this money. He just got lucky that he is the only Pass Rushing DE worth squat in FA. If he gets more money from a Cap flush team good for him, but the Dolphins need to get affordable players playing .500 football for years means you can sign anyone and probably get your finances in order and have just as a good a chance at .500. It pained me to write that, but it is true.

    .
    OV had his only double digit sack season in 2013 before Suh was on the team. But I am starting to see the same overall picture of the team being .500.
    And they could use this as a way to bring up the younger promising talent make cuts and save cap space.

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