The NFL’s Use of Franchise Tags: A Look at 2024’s Tagged Players and Their Contract Negotiations

Nine tags were affixed in 2024

In 2024, the NFL used the franchise tag to retain nine potential free agents, preventing them from becoming unrestricted free agents. The league has announced the moves made to retain these players and prevent them from signing multi-year deals in the open market. Eight teams used the franchise tag on players including defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, linebacker Brian Burns, cornerback Jaylon Johnson, receiver Tee Higgins, receiver Michael Pittman Jr., linebacker Josh Allen, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. The Patriots applied the transition tag to safety Kyle Dugger.

All tags were non-exclusive, allowing other teams to negotiate with the players and sign them to offer sheets. If an offer sheet is signed and not matched, the current team receives two first-round picks as compensation. The Patriots only have the right to match any offer for Dugger, with no compensation if he changes teams. The franchise tag provides tagged players with a one-year compensation package but restricts their movement and prevents them from securing a multi-year deal in free agency.

While some may view the franchise tag as an honor for top players, it ultimately limits their ability to move freely and negotiate contracts on their own terms. This ensures that other veterans do not receive higher salaries based on increased market value and helps maintain financial stability in the league. It is likely that the NFL will continue to use the franchise tag as a tool for maintaining control over player movement and salaries in years to come.

Leave a Reply