The NFL Players Association has released the 2009 NFL Franchise/Transition tender amounts. NFL teams have from February 5th - 19th, 2009 to designate a player who would otherwise be an Unrestricted Free Agent on February 27 as a Franchise or Transition Player.
Players designated a Franchise or Transition Player are guaranteed a one-year contract at either the average of the top five Prior Year Salaries at their position (Franchise designation) or the average of the top 10 Prior Year Salaries at their position (Transition designation). If a designated player’s Prior Year Salary is above the current League Year’s tender amount, then that player is guaranteed a 120 percent increase over his Prior Year Salary.
Clubs tagging players with the Franchise designation have two options: 1) a “non-exclusive” designation, which permits the player to accept an offer from another club; and if the prior club chooses not to exercise its right of first refusal, or match the offer, then the prior club receives two first-round draft picks as compensation; or 2) an “exclusive” designation which prevents the player from shopping his services to other clubs and in return the Franchise designation amount will be re-calculated after the Restricted Free Agency signing period (usually a week before the NFL Draft) using the current year’s cap number instead of the prior year’s.
Clubs choosing to use the Transition designation only have a right to match an offer the player may receive from another club, and if it chooses not to match it, there is no draft choice compensation from the player’s new club to the player’s prior club.
Players negotiating under the Franchise designation have until July 15 in the year of designation to negotiate a multi-year contract with their prior club. After that date, the player may only sign the one-year tender offer with his prior club. Players tagged as Transition players have until July 22 to sign an offer sheet with a new club. After that, their prior club retains exclusive negotiating rights to the player.
“Twelve players were designated as Franchise Players last year, and the number this year should be close to that if not lower,” said NFLPA Director of Salary Cap and Agent Administration Mark Levin. “With huge increases recently in the overall salary cap, teams can afford higher individual cap numbers and this increases the franchise/tender amounts at many positions to the point that it offsets whatever limitations on moving to a new club a player may encounter.”
The NFLPA and the NFL Management Council recently agreed to the amounts of the Franchise/Transition tenders for the 2009 League Year. Once again, quarterbacks have the highest Franchise tender amount at more than $14.6 million and kickers/punters have the lowest tender amount at just under $2.5 million.
Safeties, quarterbacks, wide receivers and offensive lineman all saw double-digit percentage increases in their tender amounts over 2008. Safeties increased this year more than 45 percent over the 2008 Franchise amount and by more than 31 percent over last year’s Transition amount.
Below is a list of all the Franchise/Transition tender amounts: