Panthers Not One of 21 Teams to Issue Franchise Tags

Today is franchise tag day. Specifically its the first day teams that have been unable to re-sign their players with expired contracts can place franchise tags on the marquee players they want to retain. Teams can re-sign franchised players after the free agency period begins March 13th. I've got a list of the 21 franchised players after the jump and it does include a few players we had hoped might come to Charlotte. First though here's the new rules for the franchise tag per the new CBA:

  • A club can designate one "franchise" player or one "transition" player among its veteran free agents.
  • The salary offer by a player's club determines whether the franchise player designation is exclusive or non-exclusive.
  • An "exclusive" franchise player - not free to sign with another club - is offered the greater of (i) the average of the top five salaries at the player's position for the currentyear as of the end of the Restricted Free Agent Signing Period on April 20; or (ii) the amount of the Required Tender for a non-exclusive franchise player, as explained below.
  • The methodology for calculating the Required Tender for a non-exclusive franchise player has changed. Formerly, such players were tendered a one year NFL Player Contract for the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position at which the Franchise Player played the most games during the prior League Year, or 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater.
  • Article 10, Section 2(a)(i) of the CBA sets forth the new methodology, known as the "Cap Percentage Average," for calculating the Required Tender for such a player:
  • The Nonexclusive Franchise Tender shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for(A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position . . . at which the Franchise Player participated in the mostplays[formerly, "games"] during the prior League Year, which average shall be calculated by: (1) summing the amounts of the Franchise Tags for players at that position for the five preceding League Years; (2) dividing the resulting amount by the sum of the Salary Caps for the five preceding League Years . . . ; and (3) multiplying the resulting percentage by the Salary Cap for the upcoming League Year. . . (the "Cap Percentage Average") . . . ; or (B) 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater . . .
  • If a club extends a Required Tender to a non-exclusive franchise player pursuant to this section, the player shall be permitted to negotiate a player contract with any club, except that draft choice compensation of two first round draft selections shall be made in the event he signs with a new club.
  • The signing period for franchise players begins at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on March 13 and ends on the Tuesday following the 10th week of the season (November 13).
  • There are no transition player designations this year.
  • 2012 FRANCHISE PLAYERS

    Club

    Player

    Position

    Arizona

    Campbell, Calais

    DE

    Atlanta

    Grimes, Brent

    CB

    Baltimore

    Rice, Ray

    RB

    Chicago

    Forté, Matt

    RB

    Cincinnati

    Nugent, Mike

    K

    Cleveland

    Dawson, Phil

    K

    Dallas

    Spencer, Anthony

    LB

    Denver

    Prater, Matt

    K

    Detroit

    Avril, Cliff

    DE

    Indianapolis

    Mathis, Robert

    DE

    Jacksonville

    Scobee, Josh

    K

    Kansas City

    Bowe, Dwayne

    WR

    New England

    Welker, Wes

    WR

    New Orleans

    Brees, Drew**

    QB

    New York Giants

    Weatherford, Steve

    P

    Oakland

    Branch, Tyvon

    S

    Philadelphia

    Jackson, DeSean

    WR

    San Francisco

    Goldson, Dashon

    S

    Tampa Bay

    Barth, Connor

    K

    Tennessee

    Griffin, Michael

    S

    Washington

    Davis, Fred

    TE

    **Signifies "exclusive" franchise player

    I'm surprised at the number of kickers on the list but I guess that is because kicker is one of the lower paid positions on the team. Two players we had hoped would hit the market (I'm pretending the Panthers would actually be players in free agency) were WR Dwayne Bowe and CB Brett Grimes.

    I'm very surprised the Colts franchised Robert Mathis. It's not that he isn't good but just thought he's a little long in the tooth (31) for a franchise tag but as it turns out they have already agreed to a contract in principle.

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