2011 Franchise/Transition Tender Amount Projections
2010 Official F/T Tenders: $16.405 million (F); $14.546M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $17.095M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $14.762M
Top 5: Peyton Manning (Indianapolis), Donovan McNabb (Washington), Tom Brady (New England), Brett Favre (Minnesota), Vince Young (Tennessee)
Three of the five quarterbacks that will comprise the franchise tag likely won't be with their current team in 2011.
Manning won't be one of those quarterbacks moving on, as his agent (Tom Condon) is in talks with the Colts on a long-term extension. As they did before his last extension in 2004, the Colts are willing to use the franchise tag on Manning if a long-term deal cannot be worked out before the tag deadline at the end of February.
Because Manning's 2010 salary number ($19.266M) is higher than the average of the top five at the position, his franchise tag number will be $23.12 million, 120% of his 2010 salary.
Who (else) could be franchised in 2011? Beyond Michael Vick, likely no other quarterback will receive a franchise tag in 2011. The Seattle Seahawks could use the tag to scare off the San Francisco 49ers or Arizona Cardinals while they negotiate a short-term deal with Hasselbeck, but doing might send a message to David Dunn, Hasselbeck's agent, that they're willing to guarantee over $17 million for one more season from Hasselbeck.
2010 Official F/T Tenders: $8.156 million (F); $7.151M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $9.864M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $8.047M
Top 5: Reggie Bush (New Orleans), Clinton Portis (Washington), Marion Barber (Dallas), Steven Jackson (St. Louis), Darren Sproles (San Diego)
Bush, Portis, and Barber will likely need to restructure their contracts to be back with their current teams in 2011. Jackson's contract can void after 2011, so he may be approached for an extension beyond next season. One year after being franchised, Sproles earned $7.283 million on a restricted free agent tender.
Who could be franchised in 2011? At nearly $10 million, it's highly unlikely that any free agent running back gets franchised. Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is coming off an injury, while New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw would be restricted without a new CBA.
2010 Official F/T Tenders: $9.521 million (F); $8.651M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $11.933M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $10.024M
Top 5: Miles Austin (Dallas), Randy Moss (New England/Minnesota/Tennessee), Calvin Johnson (Detroit), Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona), Andre Johnson (Houston)
Four of the five players that comprise the tender amount were Pro Bowlers in 2010. Austin's six-year extension from September included a $17.078 million base salary, a figured that contributed to the sharp increase in the tender amount for receivers.
Who could be franchised in 2011? Vincent Jackson (San Diego), Sidney Rice (Minnesota), and Braylon Edward and Santonio Holmes of the New York Jets will be unrestricted free agents, and are potential candidates for the franchise tag.
2010 Official F/T Tenders: $5.908 million (F); $5.248M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $7.285M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $6.246M
Top 5: Vernon Davis (San Francisco), Dallas Clark (Indianapolis), Daniel Graham (Denver), Kellen Winslow (Tampa Bay), Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta)
Davis agreed to an extension before the start of the season, adding nearly $2 million to his 2010 salary number. Graham's appearance on the list may surprise some, but 2010 was the fourth year of a five-year contract signed in 2007. Unless renegotiated, most of the fluff money in long-term free agent contracts hit in years four and five.
Who could be franchised in 2011? Marcedes Lewis (Jacksonville) and Owen Daniels (Houston) have five accrued seasons, and would be unrestricted free agents in 2011. Lewis is coming off a Pro Bowl season, and the Jaguars may be inclined to use the franchise tag on him. Daniels is coming off an injury, which may keep the Texans from using the franchise tag after two years of maximum level restricted free agent tenders.
Oakland Raiders Pro Bowler Zach Miller and Kevin Boss of the New York Giants have four accrued seasons, and would also be free agents who may wind up tagged. Bo Scaife (Tennessee) has been franchised once already (2009), but seems unlikely to receive the tag after a disappointing 2010.
2010 Official F/T Tenders: $10.731 million (F); $9.142M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $10.51M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $9.311M
Top 5: Jason Peters (Philadelphia), Jake Long (Miami), Sean Locklear (Seattle), Jahri Evans (New Orleans), Jeff Backus (Detroit)
Peters had his contract restructured last March, with the Eagles adding over $9.5 million to his base salary, keeping Peters' salary number over $12.7 million for a second consecutive season. Locklear also agreed to a restructure that voided the final few years of his previous contract, accelerating signing bonus proration to his 2010 salary number. Not unlike Graham with the tight ends, 2010 was the fourth year of a contract restructure for Backus, which explains his presence on this list.
Who could be franchised in 2011? The big fish in the free agent offensive linemen pond is New England Patriots three-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins, who has six accrued seasons and will be unrestricted in 2011.
Offensive tackles who may become unrestricted include Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl right tackle Tyson Clabo, one of three Falcons offensive line whose contracts are up after the season. (Guards Harvey Dahl and Justin Blalock are the others) New Orleans Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod and Dallas Cowboys left tackle Doug Free will have four accrued seasons, as will Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil.
2010 Official F/T Tenders: $12.398 million (F); $10.193M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $13.005M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $10.346M
Top 5: Julius Peppers (Chicago), Mario Williams (Houston), Dwight Freeney (Indianapolis), Jared Allen (Minnesota), Will Smith (New Orleans)
Peppers, Williams, Freeney, and Allen each had salary numbers over $13 million in 2010, leaving a nearly $4 million gap between Allen and Smith.
Who could be franchised in 2011? Ray Edwards, Allen's teammate in Minnesota, has five years of service and could be a franchise tag candidate, though that's a lot of money to invest in one position. Jason Babin (Tennessee) is coming off a 12.5 sack, Pro Bowl season, but over $13 million might give the Titans pause before slapping the tag on the former first-round pick from Western Michigan.
Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson had a breakout season in 2010, and is surely a guy new head coach Ron Rivera will want to keep around.
2010 Official F/T Tenders: $7.003 million (F); $6.353M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $12.381M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $9.405M
Top 5: Albert Haynesworth (Washington), Richard Seymour (Oakland), Shaun Rogers (Cleveland), B.J. Raji (Green Bay), Tommie Kelly (Oakland)
The Washington Redskins leveraged the uncapped year more than any other team, and that included superceding Haynesworth's contract, which boosted his salary number in 2010 to $24.753 million. Another reason the cost to franchise an interior defensive lineman will nearly double was Seymour being designated as a defensive tackle in 2010, a season he played under a $12.975 million "exclusive" franchise tag number for a defensive end.
Who could be franchised in 2011? If the Raiders choose to franchise Seymour again, it'd cost $15.57 million, 120% his $12.975 million salary under the "exclusive" franchise tag in 2010. If the Raiders use the "exclusive" tag again, which would prevent him from negotiating with other teams, his salary would be $15.57M or the average of the Top 5 players at the position at the end of the restricted free agent signing period, whichever is greater.
Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin (San Francisco) played last season under the franchise tag. Re-signing Haloti Ngata is a top priority of the Baltimore Ravens, who will use the franchise tag on the former first-round pick from Oregon.
Franklin and Ngata coming off the free agent market could be good news for Miami Dolphins free agent Paul Soliai, who had a breakout season as the starting nose tackle for the NFL's 4th-ranked run defense. Soliai has four accrued seasons, as does Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane.
2010 F/T Official Tenders: $9.68 million (F); $8.373M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $10.191M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $8.943M
Top 5: DeMarcus Ware (Dallas), Derrick Johnson (Kansas City), Brian Urlacher (Chicago), Terrell Suggs (Baltimore), Aaron Curry (Seattle)
Johnson had been playing under a one-year restricted free agent tender before having his base salary significantly increased in an early November contract extension. Curry received a $5 million roster bonus in 2010, explaining his inclusion in the five linebackers with the highest salary numbers.
Who could be franchised in 2011? Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley is scheduled to be a free agent, and there's little chance of him going anywhere. The New York Jets have already hinted that they'd franchise inside linebacker David Harris.
Woodley and Harris both have four accrued seasons, as do Stewart Bradley (Philadelphia) and Paul Posluszny (Buffalo).
Johnson's Kansas City teammate, Tamba Hali, who had a Pro Bowl season with 14.5 quarterback sacks, and Chad Greenway, who led the Minnesota Vikings with 142 tackles in 2010, are eligible for unrestricted free agency.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Barrett Ruud will be an unrestricted free agent. The Buccaneers have indicated that they want him back, but Ruud has been looking for a long-term extension for years. Even though it's worth $10.3 million for one season, denying him a chance to test the market might sour an already strained relationship.
2010 Official F/T Tenders: $9.566 million (F); $8.056M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $14.354M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $11.817M
Top 5: DeAngelo Hall (Washington), Champ Bailey (Denver), Tramon Williams (Green Bay), Dunta Robinson (Atlanta), Marcus Trufant (Seattle)
As they did with Haynesworth, the Redskins superceded Hall's contract, increasing his 2010 salary number to $18.8 million. Bailey's number was north of $15 million in the final year of his contract, while Williams' salary number was inflated by his renegotiation in November. Robinson's six-year, $57 million deal with the Falcons included $12 million in 2010, while Trufant had a $3 million roster bonus this season, boosting his salary number to over $11.5 million.
Who could be franchised in 2011? The Broncos want Bailey back, but franchising him would cost $18.474 million, 120% his 2010 salary. Ike Taylor (Pittsburgh) will be a free agent, as will Stanford Routt (Oakland), who was given a "1st- and 3rd-Round" tender as a restricted free agent last off-season.
With the Raiders unable to use the tag on Nnamdi Asomugha, they may opt to ensure Routt stays in the secondary.
Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph has stated that he wouldn't mind being franchised. At nearly $15 million, though, that might not be appealing to a Bengals' front office that will have to address Leon Hall's contract next off-season.
2010 Official F/T Tenders: $6.455 million (F); $6.011M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $9.625M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $8.202M
Top 5: O.J. Atogwe (St. Louis), Nick Collins (Green Bay), Ed Reed (Baltimore), Troy Polamalu (Pittsburgh), Antoine Bethea (Indianapolis)
Atogwe, Collins, and Bethea made the top five thanks to hefty roster bonuses that were included in new contracts signed in 2010. Those bonuses significantly boosted the amount of the safety franchise tender for 2011.
Who could be franchised in 2011? Coming off a Pro Bowl, Philadelphia Eagles safety Quintin Mikell is eligible for unrestricted free agency and may be considered for the franchise tag.
Four-year safeties Dashon Goldson (San Francisco) and Eric Weddle, a Pro Bowl-caliber player in the San Diego Chargers' #1-ranked overall and pass defense, are also invaluable to their respective defenses and would be tag-worthy if long-term deals cannot be reached before February 23.
2010 Official F/T Tenders: $2.841 million (F); $2.629M (T)
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $3.26M
2011 Projected Transition Tender: $2.956M
Top 5: Shane Lechler (Oakland), Sebastien Janikowski (Oakland), Adam Vinatieri (Indianapolis), Josh Brown (St. Louis), Jeff Reed (Pittsburgh/San Francisco)
Janikowski received a four-year, $16 million extension last February, while Vinatieri and Brown had base salary bumps in the second of year of contract restructures. Reed was franchised by the Steelers, and supplemented that guaranteed base salary with an end of the season stint with the 49ers.
Who could be franchised in 2011? Vinatieri's contract is up, and franchising him would cost the Colts $3.846 million in 2011. Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare could be franchised again, as could Atlanta Falcons punter/kickoff specialist Michael Koenen, who was franchised in 2009 before playing last season under a one-year restricted free agent tender.
Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff would have been unrestricted, which is part of the reason why the team signed him to a five-year extension last week. Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby is also slated to become an unrestricted free agent.