When a team in the National Football League wants to keep a potential free agent player on its roster for one additional season, the team can designate that specific player with the franchise tag. This optionÂ is only available for one player per team, and itÂ provides the designated player with a guaranteed 1-year contract for a set salary determined by the position that he plays.
The franchise tag can be either in an exclusive or non-exclusive form. An exclusive franchise player receives a contract that is equal to the average of the top five players for his position for that particular season, determined by a particular date in April, or 120 percent of the player's previous salary, whichever is more. These players cannot negotiate contracts with other teams.
The non-exclusive franchise tag is similar to the exclusive franchise tag, except the salary is based on the top five player's from the previous season, or 120 percent of the player's past salary, whichever is more. These players can negotiate with other teams, but the original team has the ability to match the contract and retain the player.