2015 NFL Franchise Tag Candidates: Recap

As our list of important offseason dates shows, teams can assign their franchise or transition tag to a player beginning on February 16, and will have until March 2 to make use of one of those tags.

Franchise and transition tags are tools that allow teams to keep free-agents-to-be off the open market. Our glossary entry on the subject goes into greater detail, but essentially, a player receiving either tag can’t sign freely with a rival suitor — the exclusive franchise tag prohibits the player from even negotiating with another team, while the non-exclusive franchise and transition tags ensure that the player must sign an offer sheet, which his previous club would have the opportunity to match.

Franchising a player means tendering him a one-year contract offer — he can accept and sign that offer, or attempt to work out a longer-term arrangement with his club. The salary for the one-year offer is determined using a formula that looks at the highest-paid players at each position, and is often exorbitant. Because it can be tricky to accommodate a franchise or transition salary within the cap restraints, most teams won’t make use of the tags this offseason. Last year, for instance, only six clubs took advantage of the opportunity, with four teams using the franchise tag while two others used the transition tag.

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve been taking a closer look at players who may qualify for a tag in 2015. Here are the results of that series:

Viable candidates:

Other possible candidates:

Extreme long shots:

Candidates by division:

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