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Free Agency Primer: Raiders Don't Use Franchise Tag, 10 NFL Players Tagged

Posted Mar 1, 2016

Tuesday marked the deadline for designated Franchise or Transition players. Unrestricted free agency begins Wednesday, March 9, so let’s take a look at some important parts of free agency and some key dates to keep an eye on.

Today marked the deadline teams can designate Franchise or Transition players. Unrestricted free agency begins Wednesday, March 9, so let’s take a look at some important parts of free agency and some key dates to keep an eye on.

Reserve/Future: After a team completes its season, that club may sign a free agent player for the subsequent season (2016) until the Super Bowl. These players are placed on the team’s Reserve/Future list. A free agent signed to a club’s Reserve/Future list is not eligible to be signed by any club for the current season (2015).

February 8: Waiver system begins for 2015. Players with less than four years of credited service are subject to waivers. Teams have 24 hours to make a claim after waivers are requested for that player. Players with four years or more of credited service are released and become unrestricted free agents able to sign with any team.

February 16: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

Explaining the tag (courtesy NFL.com)

» The exclusive franchise tag is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position, or 120 percent of the player's previous salary, whichever is greater. The player's team has all negotiating rights to the player.

» The non-exclusive franchise tag is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position, or 120 percent of the player's previous salary, whichever is greater. The player can negotiate with other teams. The player's current team has the right to match any offer, or receive two first-round picks as compensation.

» The transition tag is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount that is the average of the top 10 salaries at the position. It guarantees the original club the right of first refusal to match any offer the player may receive from another team. The transition tag can only be used if the franchise tag is not used by a team in that year. Transition tags can be rescinded, but teams that rescind a transition tag cannot use it again until next season.

March 1: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

The following players have been tagged by their clubs:

Muhammed Wilkerson, DE, New York Jets
Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens
Cordy Glenn, T, Buffalo Bills
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
Josh Norman, CB, Carolina Panthers
Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami Dolphins (Transition)
Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos (Exclusive)
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
Eric Berry, S, Kansas City Chiefs
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Los Angeles Rams

March 7-9: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2015 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

March 9: All 2015 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time. The 2016 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time. Trading period for 2016 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2015 contracts. Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit Qualifying Offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.

April 22: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.

July 15: At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any Club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his Prior Club for the 2015 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the Club’s last regular season game.