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 The tags can be rescinded until the players sign them and their salaries would be guaranteed when and if they do sign.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.