Broncos Use Franchise Tag the Right Way

The Denver Broncos agreed to a contract extension with left tackle Ryan Clady on Sunday
The Denver Broncos agreed to a contract extension with left tackle Ryan Clady on Sunday

Going into the 2013 National Football League year, eight players received the Franchise Tag from their respective teams. Of those eight teams, only the Denver Broncos used the Franchise Tag appropriately.

The NFL Franchise Tag is supposed to be a vehicle for teams to keep important players on their roster for the long haul. However, teams have abused it so much to the point that NFL players hate getting labeled with it, this year is no different.  Out of eight teams that used the franchise tag only the Denver Broncos used it the right way, as they resigned left tackle Ryan Clady, according to Pro Football Talk.

Clady signed a five year contract extension worth $52.5 million on Sunday. The maximum value of the contract is $57.5 million if Clady hits all his incentives.

According to an article from WGR 550, players hate the tag.

“I think players hate the tag,” remarked another NFL agent. “Let’s face it. The teams hold almost all the leverage unless you’re an elite player at an elite position. And if you were an elite player at an elite position you would never get franchised, you would have your deal done well before that time came.”

The reason why the Broncos used the franchise tag right is because it was designed for teams to keep players of high importance like Clady and Buffalo Bills safety, Jarius Byrd, by keeping teams at bay with penalties while the team and the player work out a long term contract.

What it wasn’t designed for was teams using the tag to keep a player for a year at an affordable price. However, this has been happening since the first time a player is franchised as they are hit with the franchise tag, his salary is an average of the top five players at the same position in the upcoming season.

Byrd is a good example of this. The franchise tag for a safety in 2013 is $6.916 million. Byrd is asking for a contract similar to San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle and Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson- who each signed five year contracts worth over $40 million.

So, the Bills instead, save over $1.0 million by making Byrd play under the franchise tag instead of signing him to a long term deal.

Another reason that players hate the tag is due to injury. Since the franchise tag is only a one year contract, a player would essentially be up for free agency the following year. However, if they were to get hurt during the year they would lose a lot of money as a free agent the following year, as injuries hurt a player’s marketability tremendously.

While Broncos have used the franchise tag the right way, many teams are abusing it. Hopefully, it will get fixed in the collective bargaining agreement.


Paul Kasprzak

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