Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Franchise Tag: Should Football Get Rid Of It?

The franchise tag has been a burden for NFL players for many years, and this year is no different. February 21st is the deadline for teams to choose which player they will use the tag on. The franchise tag, which automatically makes it so unrestricted free agents can't talk to other teams, most of the time pisses players off. Some players just want to test the free agent waters to see what their worth while others just want a long term contract. The franchise tag ultimately ends all hope of testing the waters and makes it so you can only get a long term contract with your current team unless you wait until the next offseason. So why do NFL teams continue to do it? Asante Samuel got the franchise tag from New England Patriots last year because they didn't want to pay him a long term contract and they thought he could help lead them to a Super Bowl title. As we all know by now that didn't happen. Now Samuel, who surprisingly wants to come back to New England after getting slapped with the tag, is looking for a big pay day. The question is will New England give it to him? Why I say it is surprising that Samuel wants to go back is that in the past and even this year players have said they will never go back to their teams if they were ever tagged. This year already there are a handful of players already upset at being talked about the possibility of getting the franchise tag. Take Jared Allen of the Kansas City Chiefs. He has been a force at getting to the quarterback the past couple years, and wants a long term contract. He loves Kansas City and the Chief fans but he said in an ESPN article that if he was tagged this offseason that it would be his last in red and gold. The Franchise Tag: to get rid of it or to not get rid of it, that is the question.

The History of the Franchise Tag.
The franchise tag was put in place as a part of the collective bargining agreement between the NFL Players Assosiation and the league in 1993. It was mainly established to try and make it so players could stay with their organizations their entire careers. Now it is more of trying to keep a player from going wherever he wants to go. There are two types of franchise tags: Exclusive and Non-exclusive. Non-exclusive tags are more lenient and make it so players can still go out and look for money on the free agent market but they must sign an offer sheet and if a team matches it the player must stick with their former team. Franchise players are given a base one year salary every year. Quarterbacks are given the most at nearly 11 million dollars, while kickers are give the lowest at 2.6 million dollars. Players that are rumored of possibly getting the franchise tag are: Allen of the Chiefs, Randy Moss of the Patriots, Marcus Turfant of Seattle, and Albert Haynesworth of the Titans.

Should It Stay In Place?
Personally I don't think so. It honestly isn't used like it use to be. It is just a way to delay players from testing the free agent waters. It makes players mad and honestly I don't think players should be forced to play for a team if they can't get a contract done. You have the entire season to negotiate a new contract with a player and if you can't get it done then how do you know they will actually get a contract done a year from now? Just get rid of the Franchise tag and if the player is meant to be on your team you will get the contract done. End of story.


Sportsattitude said...

Agreed. What it was designed to accomplish and what it actually is doing in the marketplace are two different things. Football should get rid of it.

Franchises For Sale said...

New Zealand Football has rejected a bid by the national league franchises to run the summer competition this year but has not ruled it out in the future.

The eight New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC) franchises led by Rex Dawkins, chairman of NZFC and Oceania O-League champion Waitakere United proposed that NZF continue to own the NZFC but the day-to-day management be vested in a group formed by the franchises.

But NZF chief executive Michael Glading said the board had decided NZF should still run the competition this season pending the outcome of its competitions and high-performance reviews rather than make a change, "arguably in isolation".

He said it had not been ruled out in the future but promised there would be more "efficiencies" in the meantime.

"We felt we should run it for another year, as we have, and spend that time looking at all the options."