Dan Campbell has a warped view of the franchise tag

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It should be no surprise that the coach who advocates kneecap-biting (we know it’s not literal, but still) has other views that may not be entirely in the pro football mainstream.

Here’s another opinion from Lions coach Dan Campbell that misses the mark. Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Campbell characterized on Tuesday the possibility of receiver Kenny Golladay receiving the franchise tag as a good thing.

I would love to be franchised,” Campbell said, via Birkett. “That would be nice. That’s a pretty good chunk [of change].”

It’s not an honor or a privilege or a good thing in any way, shape, or form to be franchise tagged. The device allows the player’s current team to block his chance to get an even larger “chunk of change” and the long-term security that goes along with a multi-year deal with millions in guarantees beyond the value of the franchise tag.

Teams use the franchise tag because the CBA gives them the right to do it. But make no mistake about it — it’s not good for the player. It’s good for the team, or the team wouldn’t do it. The only thing good for the player is to hit the open market, unfettered.

So either Campbell doesn’t understand this (which in theory is possible) or he’s being deliberately disingenuous in order to persuade media and fans to think that Golladay should be as happy as Campbell would be to be franchise tagged.

Golladay definitely should not be. No one should be. Although it pays well for one year, it delays if not prevents the generational wealth that a player good enough to be franchise tagged has otherwise earned. Anyone from any team who tries to characterize it as anything but that should be called out, loudly.

54 responses to “Dan Campbell has a warped view of the franchise tag

  1. “It’s not an honor or a privilege or a good thing in any way, shape, or form to be franchise tagged.”

    Really? So being guaranteed 16m is not a good thing? I would say that the vast majority of people in the world would disagree! Is it the best thing for the player? Of course not! But it’s hardly as though the franchise tag will put the player in the poor house. Players don’t want the tag because it limits their options, and that’s understandable and legitimate, but it’s def not the end of the world for them either and we should stop feeling sorry for the millionaires that are getting large sums of guaranteed money.

  2. Are you suggesting $18,000,000 for 16 weeks worth of work is NOT generational wealth?

  3. Seems to me that Prescott and Cousins did pretty good with being tagged. It sets the minimum bar for their contract. I agree with Campbell. In a league with very few guarantees when it comes to salaries it does just that. It also allows the player to bet on themselves. If I was tagged I would sign it immediately then purchase an insurance policy against injury with my own money which if needed would make the payment tax free.

  4. I mean if you look at it in a cynical way then yes. But i dont think you can say it doesn’t have it positives either especially this year where cap issues are plaguing teams and its a pretty heavy free agency group and draft group of WR’s as well as him coming off only playing 5 games in 2020.

  5. The only downside to being tagged is the injury risk unless you’re a RB. If you’re a RB that’s been tagged twice nobody is offering you a big deal, but for any other position I think it’s a good long term move. Yeah it would be nice to get your $50 million guaranteed right now, but it’s not like taking $16 million for a year or two and then getting a big contract is such a bad thing

  6. You get top 5 position $ at your position when you are most likely not a top 5 position talent. And you will either get the long-term deal OR get it the next year as a free agent. If you do not, it means you are not as good as you think you are and you got overpaid big time for one season.

    Also, this year, with most teams on tight cap space, getting franchised is a GREAT thing

  7. If players don’t like the Franchise tags, then they need to have the process removed from the CBA. They would need to negotiate that provision out of the CBA, not complain and whine when a team uses it. It would seem to me that your view that teams should never use an option that is perfectly within their rights to use is the “warped” point of view.

  8. Golladay isn’t worth franchise-tag money on the open market. With his injury history, a 1 year, $16M – 18M deal is probably a win for the player. Stay healthy, be productive, and he can hit the open market next year, after banking $18M.

  9. Did the players vote for this? If they did, then to bad. You have no need to bitch about it. The team is always trying to cut cost. The players have an union to look out for there best interest. seems like they went for the money which pays the most for the most players, the tag only affects a hand full of players. Be careful f what you wish for. Bill

  10. So refreshing to see a genuine answer. And he’s right. It is a big chunk of change. I’d love to have it too. Appreciate the honesty. This guy is going to be an awesome HC.

  11. Note a good take at all in this article. The opinion seems based in assumptions for future contracts and that there is no disparity in salaries within a position group. In Kenny Golladay’s situation, being paid the top 5 average for a wide receiver “is a pretty good chunk of change” he likely will find hard to come by on the open market for a year of work.

  12. Sure to us average folks, franchising seems great. But this is an entertainment business and entertainers get paid big bucks in any field like movie stars, TV stars, news anchors, etc. NFL owners have seen their net income (after paying player salaries and other expenses) go up an average of 15% in each of the last 10 years while the salary cap has gone up about 5% on average each year in the same time period. So, as much as the players are making some nice money, the owners are making more, way more. And the gap continues to get wider. Since players’ talents actually create the entertainment of this sport (compare the Patriots with and without Brady), why shouldn’t they seek to get more than they do? I would.

  13. Kirk Cousins has bank robbed the Redskins and Vikings for years. Im pretty sure he has generational wealth.

    Can’t remember if Sam Bradford was franchised. Those 2 QBs have stolen money for years.

    That said, Kenny Golladay is a great WR.

  14. With the limited cap the tag works best for both Golladay and the Lions . He gets $16M guaranteed this season and he will be in a better position for more money on a long term deal in Detroit or elsewhere when the cap gets back to it’s normal level . Golladay will sign the tag as soon as it’s put in front of him .

  15. Is Mike Florio serious? I don’t agree with his assessment. I bet if Leveon Bell wish he would have taken the tag the Steelers offered him. I bet a lot of players would take the tag in this pandemic year.

  16. Azhawk says:
    March 2, 2021 at 11:28 am
    “It’s not an honor or a privilege or a good thing in any way, shape, or form to be franchise tagged.”

    Really? So being guaranteed 16m is not a good thing?
    I’m actually quite surprised so many of you missed the point entirely. And putting things in perspective from your point of view is silly. The players have many more options than you or I, so no, it’s not a good thing to be franchised when you can make so much more guaranteed money when you are not franchised.

  17. I can honestly understand after 50 years why the Lions can always find the biggest losers in coaches and coaching staff in football: the smart, knowledgeable, able coaches, wont even interview for the Lions. They understand its a path of no return. Your career and resume is tainted forever.
    You end up in the trash heap of incompetance.
    This guy sounds marine like and that never works. The players dont want to train or play like hardened marines.

  18. howboutthemcowboys2020 says:
    March 2, 2021 at 12:05 pm
    Kirk Cousins has bank robbed the Redskins and Vikings for years. Im pretty sure he has generational wealth.
    And if Cousins had immediately gotten a career ending injury, it would have been a very bad thing for him. So no, it’s not a “good thing” to be franchised and give up any sort of guarantees, when comparing the alternative of a multi-year contract with a very large signing bonus.

  19. It’s always fun to watch people who will never, EVER be in the position to make decisions about this kind of money argue about what someone else should or should not do.

  20. Teams have the contractual right to tag players and should use every alternative to improve their roster. If players don’t like it, negotiate it out of the CBA. Having said that, the tag works for players that stay healthy. Cousins rarely gets hurt and Dak almost had a career ending injury, in which case the tag would have hurt his ability to get a more lucrative longer term contract. Most NFL stars get one real shot at that big contract, and I can see their frustration when that opportunity is delayed. We can’t look at it from our regular guy perspective, cause NFL compensation ain’t regular life.

  21. Silly article. The Union, on behalf of the players, negotiated the current agreement which includes the franchise tag. Just like a player choosing to pursue free agency when his contract allows it, the franchise tag is option given to the team. It’s not a bad thing, it is the deal agreed to by every player in the NFL. I’m sure Coach Campbell understands it completely, having been a long time player in the NFL and now a head coach.

  22. The players have many more options than you or I, so no, it’s not a good thing to be franchised when you can make so much more guaranteed money when you are not franchised.


    Players may have a lot of options in any other year, but not this year with the salary cap being so low.

  23. The only downside to the franchise tag is if you regress like Anthony Harris on the Vikings…still, even after his worst season, some team will still overpay him. And like everyone and their mother has said…Kirk Cousins…

  24. Dan Campbell was a journeyman player. He would have loved to get tagged, it was probably more than he made in his playing career. It’s a great deal for a journeyman, it’s not for elite players.

    But you’re also missing that this was a trade the union made for free agency. 40 years ago, the choice was basically to play for what your team offered or retire. The union agreed that restricting 1 player per team was worth it.

  25. I am in favor of the tag. A team invests a high draft pick, coaches a player up to a pro bowl level, fans in his city form a bond – and then after 4 years he decides we wants to play in a warmer climate, seek better endorsement possibilities or a state with no tax.

    If its of any benefit to the player, he makes scads of money, until the team can no longer afford it. Nobody gets tagged a third straight year anymore. Can anyone imagine next year of Dak Prescott earning 20% more than Mahomes average compensation of $45 mil?

  26. I’ve seen two (2) examples of players who’ve been franchised (Dak & Cousins) that people hold up as shining examples of how great it is to be franchised. Only 2. It would seem to me that they would have more of a case of it being so great if there were more than 2 DOZEN players singing the virtues of being franchised.

  27. Ask Jadeveon Clowney about the franchise tag. He specifically tried to avoid it and it has cost him millions that he will never make back.

  28. canadaraider says:
    March 2, 2021 at 11:22 am
    Kirk Cousins disagrees.

    Actually Kirk Cousins Agrees. He told Dak “The Franchise Tag can be your friend”.

  29. Florio maybe you Russel Wilson and Deshaun can go start your own league. No franchise tags, GM’s or owners. Let the players run everything!

  30. Well, since we now all know that “generational wealth”, along with any other sort of income or wealth inequality, is basically evil, why would you want it to be easy for a player to get it?

    Further, if we just move the marginal tax rate on incomes above $1MM to 75% and above $5MM it 90%, probably would help put a stop on ever escalating salaries as well because what’s the point.

  31. I totally disagree with your assessment.

    It’s a balancing act for a pro athlete to weigh long term financial stability for themselves and their family vs success in the game/ having control over their career.

    With the nature of the game both with injury risks and the fact that a few bad games can legit get you benched and possibly cut, paired with non guaranteed contracts amplifoes the need to make sure the financial part of a NFL players career is locked down.

    Getting a 16-18m one year contract can totally satisfy the financial aspect of a players career. Granted, this is based on the player being smart and meeting with the correct people to plan and manage that money correctly, but that’s the case with any nfl money.

    Franky, if KG wants to stay in Detroit on a new Deal, or leave for the biggest deal he can get or chase a ring those are all things that are only delayed for one season if franchised. That one season will set him and his immediate family up to live a lavish life , and set future generations of his family up to have opportunities in life and a much easier road than most people have.

  32. Just one franchise tag’s worth of money is more than enough to create generational wealth for most people who are intelligent with money. Instead out Campbell, how about calling out the players who blow their money on frivolous things, blowing it on things they don’t need rather than investing in their family’s future. I’m less and less surprised by every tone deaf, first-world-problem article on here

  33. Didn’t the players agree to the CBA and the tag? Pretty tired of hearing complaints over what is in the agreement that the players signed off on. Other issues were clearly more important, so they accepted the tag. Also, let’s not act like the tag is some sort of labor abomination- it aint child labor or no overtime for hourly workers, Florio.

  34. The only way it’s not a good thing is in terms of preventing a player from maximizing their hypothetical earning potential right now, without waiting.

    Otherwise, it’s a guaranteed market-leading paycheck in a time when most Americans have no financial security at all.

    Keep in mind that players aren’t truly independent entities. Teams invest huge amounts of money, resources and time into developing them and making them better. Any player who gets a tag has likely already been made a multi-millionaire by the team and been given professional development and experience that makes their career possible. I can understand why teams don’t want to see that just fly away at a moment’s notice.

    As others have said, if they players don’t like it, they’ve had many opportunities to change it in CBAs. Campbell is just reacting to the system the players have voted to keep in place.

  35. If it is not a good thing, then the Union head should be fired. Also if memory serves me right, players had to vote for it for it to get passed, correct?

  36. That 18 mill isnt going to get to his pocket. Agent fees first, then its taxed each game based of the state the game is played in. Also taxes on athletes is typically much higher then the avg taxes paid on working wages? That is NOT generational wealth!

  37. Yeah, I’ll add to the disagreement with (and mockery of) Florio on this one. The franchise tag absolutely can be good for both parities. The player gets Top 5 money, guaranteed. The team lock up a franchise player. It sets the base for his next contract. Or, if they tag him again, he gets a huge raise. Beyond two tags, the raise is astronomical. Granted, it’s not a long-term deal. That’s the ultimate goal. But to say no one should be happy about it, ever? Please.

  38. I can see this coming a mile away. Dan Campbell is Florio’s next target. Way too aggressive…..Seriously,biting kneecaps is a bit of a metaphor. And you do realize he is playing into the kind of coach/team he is trying to build. I guess Jack Easterby can get a breather.

  39. nyjad says:
    March 2, 2021 at 12:42 pm
    Ask Jadeveon Clowney about the franchise tag. He specifically tried to avoid it and it has cost him millions that he will never make back


    So, how, exactly, does a player specifically try to avoid the franchise tag? The only way I know is to sign a contract, and agree that you can’t be franchised tagged in the future. He has signed a couple of one year, bet on himself deals because no team will offer him the massive contract. Isn’t that his choice?

  40. $16,000,000 to $18,000,000 for one yr of work. Its equal to us normal folks as winning the powerball lottery! This already added to the close to 5 million he’s already won. It would take the average person over 200 years at a very well paying job to make. Pro athletes work hard, but they work hard at a game they love and were blessed to play better then everyone else. Nothing wrong with him wanting more, but let’s not act like they are going to have a bad life. If he only played 1 yr on the tag then never played again. He and his family would be set for life.

  41. cattdigital says:
    March 2, 2021 at 1:10 pm
    That 18 mill isnt going to get to his pocket. Agent fees first, then its taxed each game based of the state the game is played in. Also taxes on athletes is typically much higher then the avg taxes paid on working wages? That is NOT generational wealth!

    Look , you making it sound like he’s gonna get 250k a year after everything.

    And, honestly if he were *only* making 250k , while not necessarily generational wealth, is enough to totally change thw trajectory of most families.

  42. This is all noise.

    If Golladay wants to stay, like he has said, not just lip service during FA year, he and Lions will work out LT deal. Deal that is much more cap friendly vs Tag.

    Remember, he was banged up last year vs having a huge year going into FA.

    If he leaves, Lions have a lot of options w loaded WR class in 2021 draft.

  43. For some perspective, after making around $1.8 million total on his 4-year rookie deal, Campbell signed one multi-year contract that had a $11.3 million (non-guaranteed) value over 5 years. He was released after 3 years, earning under $7 million off that deal. His $2.2 million signing bonus was his biggest NFL payday and he never had a yearly salary over $1.8 million. The franchised guys will make more in 1 year than he did in a 11-year career. So it is a big chunk, and while not comparatively as “life changing” as a long contract with a huge signing bonus/guarantees, the salary on a one-year tag should be life-changing for anyone. If you are tagged and get hurt and have to retire the next year, you won’t maximize your career earnings, but you should be set for life.

  44. Kirk cousins disagrees with this article and he has about 60 mill or so in change to back it up .

  45. So In one day you write that van noy got the multi year deal and ends
    up with one year but being paid as a top five at your position for one year is bad? Maybe Campbell is the one who gets it

  46. Seems like the franchise tag should be a 3 year contract paid at the average top 32 salary annually, fully guaranteed.
    Would limit kickers, LBs, and very good players getting tagged.
    The tag should let teams keep great players for significant money.

  47. And let’s have Campbell coach on the franchise tag, rather than his t year guaranteed contract.

  48. Franchise tag should be AVG of Top 10 salaries in FOOTBALL – they missed out on the CBA

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