Saints quarterback Drew Brees isn’t the only player who’ll be helped by Tuesday’s ruling that franchise tags used on the same man by multiple teams will stack.
Any player who ever faces a third tag after one or two were applied by a prior team will get either a 144-percent raise over his most recent cap number (if he’s a quarterback) or the quarterback franchise tender (if he’s not a quarterback).
The player who currently benefits most from that dynamic is Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby. Franchised twice by the Cardinals, if Miami is inclined upon expiration of Dansby’s contract to tie his hands with the tag, the Dolphins would have to give him the quarterback tender.
Of course, Dansby’s contract runs through 2014. And he’ll be 33 when he becomes a free agent. And unless he’s still playing at a very high level, the Dolphins likely wouldn’t have been inclined to use the tag, even at the much lower linebacker level.
But now there’s no way they will. By 2015, the quarterback franchise tender likely will be north of $17 million or $18 million.
Moving forward, players won’t often be teed up for a third tag with a second team. Typically, they’ll have five or six years in the league (after a tag or two) before signing a long-term deal with a new club. Then, it’ll be five or six years until the new contract expires. By then, the player will be into his mid-30s.
Then again, the impact of reduced offseason workouts and preseason contact could extend careers. Rodney Harrison recently said that, under the current rules, he would have played 20 years.
If elite players can indeed stretch their stay past 35 — and if they can continue to be truly elite — we may see more guys get tagged by more than one team.