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Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Will AFC South play any tag?

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

NFC West maven Mike Sando put together this handy chart on franchise and transition tag numbers.

Teams have until Feb. 25 to tag players. They then get the player's services for one year according to these prices:


A franchise tag gives the tagging team the right to match any offer sheet a player signs. If it chooses not to match, it get a first- and third-round pick as compensation. That’s pretty prohibitive and all but it assures he’s yours. (You can make the tag exclusive and eliminate the possibility of an offer sheet by tendering to the average of the five highest current salaries at the position, as opposed to five highest previous year salaries, which is the formula used to reach the numbers above.)

A transition tag comes with the right to match an offer sheet but no compensation if you choose not to match it.
From the NFL: "In capped years, a club may designate a franchise player or a transition player. In the final league year (2010), a club may designate one additional transition player."

The AFC South may not do much tagging.

Houston’s lone candidate is Dunta Robinson, who was unhappy to be tagged last season and tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a deal where they promised not to tag him a second time.

In Indianapolis, Gary Brackett is a guy the Colts need to keep, but they should be able to do so for less than $9.68 million. They once tagged Edgerrin James and used tags to hold on to Dwight Freeney and Dallas Clark while working out long-term deals. Perhaps they tag Brackett to retain his rights and tell him it’s all about buying themselves time to work out the long-term deal they both want.

Jacksonville has no pending unrestricted free agents worth a tag.

The Titans have key players who will be unrestricted free agents -- Kevin Mawae, Keith Bulluck, Kyle Vanden Bosch -- but those prices are just too high for them to try to go this route with an older guy.