The Arizona Cardinals slapped the label on him during for the 2008 and '09 seasons, his last two during his first stint with Arizona. It's highly unlikely he'll be franchised -- either exclusive, non-exclusive or even labeled a transition player -- a third time.
If there was one player the Cardinals were to franchise, however, it'd be Dansby, who resurrected his reputation as one of the top inside linebackers with a career season in 2013. But they won't. They don't need to.
Dansby made $2.25 million last season, a season after bringing home $9 million with the Miami Dolphins. If the Cardinals were to franchise Dansby, he'd earn about $10.8 million in 2014 -- and the Cardinals won't pay that. If they bring him back, it'll most likely be a two- or three-year deal worth about half that.
At $10.8 million, Dansby would be the third highest-paid Cardinal at age 32. It's just not financially feasible for Arizona to commit that much money to him for one season, although, if you ask Dansby, he believes he's worth it.
Among the other free agents, there isn't one player the Cardinals couldn't do without. Most of the valuable free agents are in their late 20s or early 30s, and Arizona won't pay the franchise fee to keep them around.
This will be another offseason in which the franchise tag remains on the shelf.