Tag, You’re It! Who got Franchise and Transition Tagged in the NFL

Don’t have time to catch up on all the NFL franchise and transition tags today?  Well, let Football Garbage Time do it for you!

Demaryius Thomas – Exclusive Franchise Tag

As predicted, Demaryius Thomas was franchise tagged by the Broncos.  Looks like they have some work to do on Julius Thomas, though.  Just in case you’re not aware, using the “exclusive” franchise tag means the player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position for the previous year, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater.  And all negotiations are restricted to the team that offered the tag.  But a long term deal can still be worked out by July 15.  So Thomas WILL be with the Broncos next, but how much longer than that is yet to be determined.

But it looks like a long term deal is still in the works:

Dez Bryant – Exclusive Franchise Tag

And also as predicted, Dez Bryant has been franchised tagged.  Which means DeMarco Murray is likely to fight it out in the RB crowded open market.

Stephen Gostkowski – Exclusive Franchise Tag

And who said kickers aren’t important?

Jason Pierre Paul – Exclusive Franchise Tag

No surprises here.

Justin Houston – Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag

This one is a little different.  Justin Houston was only given the “non-exclusive” franchise tag, which means other teams can still bid for his services.  With a “non-exclusive” franchise tag, everything is the same except the player may negotiate with other NFL teams, but if the player signs an offer sheet from another team, the original team has a right to match the terms of that offer, or if it does not match the offer and thus loses the player, is entitled to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.  So Houston will still get a chance to test free agency, it just might not lead to him leaving Kansas City.

Charles Clay – Transition Tag

Another interesting move.  Charles Clay is young (26) and turned up being a relatively consistent source of chain moving yards for the Dolphins.  The transition tag means the player must be offered a minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries of the prior season at the player’s position or 120 percent of the player’s prior year’s salary, whichever is greater. This also gives the team a first-refusal right to match within seven days an offer sheet given to the player by another team after his contract expires. If the team matches, it retains the player. So it’s not the end of the story for Charles Clay yet.

It’s a little surprising, but considering the fact that there isn’t much better in free agency for tight ends past perhaps past Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron, and the relative weakness of tight end in the 2015 Draft class, this might be a smart move.

And that leaves NO tags of any kind for Randall Cobb, Jeremy Maclin and Torrey Smith (among important wide receivers — obviously, many other players weren’t tagged today).

Cobb and Smith were predicted not to be tagged, but Jeremy Maclin is a bit of a surprise.  Seeing as how he had a standout year in 2014 and made the Pro Bowl, you’d think the Eagles would want to lock him up.  But perhaps the $13 million was a bit too steep.  We’ll see if he can work out a deal before free agency opens on March 10, or if the bidding war over Maclin will begin in earnest.

By Ha Kung Wong

Twitter: @FBGarbageTime