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Franchise, transition tag deadline pressures Redskins, Broncos contract negotiations

By The Sports Xchange   |   Feb. 29, 2016 at 1:09 PM
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Tuesday is the deadline for NFL teams to apply the franchise and transition tag to limit the mobility of their own free agents.

With the salary cap for 2016 set at $155.27 million, which represents an increase of nearly $12 million from last year, teams have concrete numbers for the one-year salary tender associated with using the franchise tag or transition tag.

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NFL teams can use only one tag, and for several teams it will be factor as the deadline nears.

Already the Baltimore Ravens informed kicker Justin Tucker the franchise tag was coming and the Chicago Bears have placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins with the Washington Redskins and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller with the Denver Broncos are also likely to receive a tag unless long term contracts are completed before the Tuesday deadline.

If either tag is applied, negotiations toward a long-term deal can continue until July 15.

While Washington could choose to use the transition tag, Denver is likely to only use the franchise tag. Unlike the franchise tag, which involves a higher salary because it guarantees compensation if the player leaves for another team, the transition tag works only as a placeholder with refusal rights. For example, if a team approaches Cousins with a five-year, $100 million offer sheet, the Redskins could choose to match that deal and retain him regardless of the tag applied.

Under terms of the transition tag, choosing not to match that deal would result in no draft pick or monetary compensation for Washington. If they used the franchise tag, the Redskins would get two first-round picks in return for losing Cousins.

Below are the numbers used for the one-year salary compensation under the franchise and transition markers by position:

Position Franchise Tag value / Transition Tag value

Cornerback $13,952,000 / $11,913,000

Defensive End $15,701,000 / $12,734,000

Defensive Tackle $13,615,000 / $10,875,000

Linebacker $14,129,000 / $11,925,000

Offensive Line $13,706,000 / $11,902,000

Punter/Kicker $4,572,000 / $4,123,000

Quarterback $19,953,000 / $17,696,000

Running Back $11,789,000 / $9,674,000

Safety $10,806,000 / $9,116,000

Tight End $9,118,000 / $7,714,000

Wide Receiver $14,599,000 / $12,368,000

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