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Thread: NFL Franchise Tags and the Miami Dolphins

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    Perfect72's Avatar
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    NFL Franchise Tags and the Miami Dolphins

    http://www.thephinsider.com/2012/12/...miami-dolphins

    NFL Franchise Tags and the Miami Dolphins

    By Kevin Nogle on Dec 28, 5:00a
    The 2012 NFL regular season is coming to an end this weekend, with 20 of the league's 32 teams going home for the winter and starting their planning for the 2013 season. The league, meanwhile, has begun their own work for 2013, including tentatively setting the salary cap and the franchise and transition player prices.

    With December coming to an end, the NFL has two major focus areas before them. The first is the obvious one, the playoffs and, ultimately, the Super Bowl. But, as 12 teams work their way through the postseason tournament, 20 teams will be sitting at home and beginning preparations for 2013. With the majority of teams already beginning to work on 2013, the league has to get a head start on the new league year as well.

    The first order of business is to establish the salary cap for next year. While nothing will be official until March, when the new league year officially begins, the NFL expects the salary cap to be set at, or just below, $121 million per team. That's not much of a change from this season, when the salary cap was $120 million.The other information teams need to get read for the 2013 season is the cost of players under the franchise and transition player tags. NFL teams are authorized to designate one player per season as their "franchise" player. That player, who would have become a free agent at the start of the new league year, can be designated as one of two types of "franchise" tags.The first tag is the exclusive rights franchise tag. Under the rules of that tag, a player receives a guaranteed one year salary equal to the average salary of the top five players at his position, or 120% of his previous salary, whichever is greater. Under the exclusive rights tag, a player may not negotiate with another team , but receives the average salaries at the position for the upcoming season.The second type of franchise tag is the "non-exclusive" rights tag, in which a player will receive a one year guaranteed salary equal to the top five players at his position from the preceding year, or 120% of his salary from the previous season. A player under this tag can negotiate with other teams, but his original team has the right to match any offer. If the team declines to match that offer, they will receive two first round draft picks in return.Of course, there's another type of tag a team can leverage, the "transition" tag. Under this tag, the team saves money, as a player is paid a one year guaranteed salary of the average of the top ten players at his position, or, once again, 120% of his previous season's saalry. Players under the transition tag may negotiate with other teams, with the original franchise having the right to match any offer given to the player. Unlike the "non-exclusive rights" franchise tag, however, if a team declines to match an offer, they do not receive any compensation in return.NFL.com's Ian Rapoport broke down the franchise and transition player price tags for the upcoming year. The teams, according to Rapoport, were given these number earlier this month. Here are the tentative break downs by position, with the finalized numbers not taking effect until the start of the league year in March.
    Franchise Transition
    Quarterback $14.642 $12.845
    Running Back $8.079 $6.851
    Wide Receiver $10.357 $8.716
    Tight End $5.962 $5.105
    Offensive Lineman $9.660 $8.560
    Defensive End $10.984 $8.994
    Defensive Tackle $8.306 $6.919
    Linebacker $9.455 $8.216
    Cornerback $10.668 $8.939
    Safety $6.798 $5.899
    Kicker/Punter $2.926 $2.654
    For the Miami Dolphins, these numbers could become vitally important. While the Dolphins are projected to have around $60 million in cap space next year, a lot of that comes from the 22 free agents they are also expected to have. The team could start signing players to long term deals over the next few weeks, removing the chance of needing to use the franchise or transition tags, however, with the sheer number of free agents, it is likely at least one will be under consideration for a tag.Looking at all of the potential free agents for the Dolphins this year, and finding the best salary data I can, here are all 22 free agents, as well as their 2012 salary, and what 120% of that salary would be.
    Player
    Position
    Age
    Experience
    2012 Salary
    120% of Salary
    Amaya, Jonathon
    S
    24
    3
    $540,000.00
    $648,000.00
    Brown, Patrick
    T
    26
    3
    $540,000.00
    $648,000.00
    Bush, Reggie
    RB
    27
    7
    $4,500,000.00
    $5,400,000.00
    Clemons, Chris
    S
    27
    4
    $1,308,000.00
    $1,569,600.00
    Culver, Tyrone
    S
    29
    7
    $700,000.00
    $840,000.00
    Devlin, Pat
    QB
    24
    2
    $390,000.00
    $468,000.00
    Fasano, Anthony
    TE
    28
    7
    $3,600,000.00
    $4,320,000.00
    Freeny, Jonathan
    LB
    23
    1
    $390,000.00
    $468,000.00
    Garner, Nate
    T
    27
    5
    $1,400,000.00
    $1,680,000.00
    Hartline, Brian
    WR
    26
    4
    $1,308,000.00
    $1,569,600.00
    Long, Jake
    T
    27
    5
    $12,800,000.00
    $15,360,000.00
    Mastrud, Jeron
    LB
    25
    3
    $540,000.00
    $648,000.00
    McCann, Bryan
    CB
    25
    3
    $540,000.00
    $648,000.00
    McDaniel, Tony
    DT
    27
    7
    $3,000,000.00
    $3,600,000.00
    Moore, Marlon
    WR
    25
    3
    $490,000.00
    $588,000.00
    Moore, Matt
    QB
    28
    6
    $2,750,000.00
    $3,300,000.00
    Smith, Sean
    CB
    25
    4
    $565,000.00
    $678,000.00
    Spitler, Austin
    LB
    26
    3
    $540,000.00
    $648,000.00
    Stanford, R.J.
    CB
    24
    2
    $540,000.00
    $648,000.00
    Starks, Randy
    DT
    29
    9
    $3,725,000.00
    $4,470,000.00
    Thigpen, Marcus
    RB
    26
    1
    $390,000.00
    $468,000.00
    Trusnik, Jason
    LB
    28
    6
    $1,000,000.00
    $1,200,000.00
    Taking into account that a franchise tag only makes sense for players who would be considered "key" for the team, we can narrow down the list of players who could be franchise/transition tagged. Being very liberal in the "key" definition gives us 10 players who could receive the tag:
    Player
    Position
    Age
    Experience
    2012 Salary
    120% of Salary
    Franchise
    Transition
    Bush, Reggie
    RB
    27
    7
    $4,500,000.00
    $5,400,000.00
    $8,079,000.00
    $6,851,000.00
    Clemons, Chris
    S
    27
    4
    $1,308,000.00
    $1,569,600.00
    $6,798,000.00
    $5,899,000.00
    Fasano, Anthony
    TE
    28
    7
    $3,600,000.00
    $4,320,000.00
    $5,962,000.00
    $5,105,000.00
    Garner, Nate
    T
    27
    5
    $1,400,000.00
    $1,680,000.00
    $9,660,000.00
    $8,560,000.00
    Hartline, Brian
    WR
    26
    4
    $1,308,000.00
    $1,569,600.00
    $10,357,000.00
    $8,716,000.00
    Long, Jake
    T
    27
    5
    $12,800,000.00
    $15,360,000.00
    $9,660,000.00
    $8,560,000.00
    McDaniel, Tony
    DT
    27
    7
    $3,000,000.00
    $3,600,000.00
    $8,306,000.00
    $6,919,000.00
    Moore, Marlon
    WR
    25
    3
    $490,000.00
    $588,000.00
    $10,357,000.00
    $8,716,000.00
    Smith, Sean
    CB
    25
    4
    $565,000.00
    $678,000.00
    $10,668,000.00
    $8,939,000.00
    Starks, Randy
    DT
    29
    9
    $3,725,000.00
    $4,470,000.00
    $8,306,000.00
    $6,919,000.00
    Looking at the 10 players, compared to what their franchise tag number would be, we can further rule out some players, who it simply does not make sense to pay that amount of money. Safety Chris Clemons is not going to jump by over 500% based on the level of play Miami gets from him. Offensive lineman Nate Garner is even a bigger jump, with a nearly 700% increase. Tony McDaniel is a reserve defensive tackle, seeing spot duty most of the time. While he is a needed piece on the line, he's not needed at $8.3 million for one season.Finally, we can rule Marlon Moore out, given he is making just over half a million dollars now, and jumping to over $10 million is unimaginable.That brings our possible tagged players to:
    Player
    Position
    Age
    Experience
    2012 Salary
    120% of Salary
    Franchise
    Transition
    Bush, Reggie
    RB
    27
    7
    $4,500,000.00
    $5,400,000.00
    $8,079,000.00
    $6,851,000.00
    Fasano, Anthony
    TE
    28
    7
    $3,600,000.00
    $4,320,000.00
    $5,962,000.00
    $5,105,000.00
    Hartline, Brian
    WR
    26
    4
    $1,308,000.00
    $1,569,600.00
    $10,357,000.00
    $8,716,000.00
    Long, Jake
    T
    27
    5
    $12,800,000.00
    $15,360,000.00
    $9,660,000.00
    $8,560,000.00
    Smith, Sean
    CB
    25
    4
    $565,000.00
    $678,000.00
    $10,668,000.00
    $8,939,000.00
    Starks, Randy
    DT
    29
    9
    $3,725,000.00
    $4,470,000.00
    $8,306,000.00
    $6,919,000.00
    Now, looking at the individual players in our six possible tagged players, we have:
    • Reggie Bush - Bush is a player the Dolphins have said they would like to bring back, and he has repeatedly said he wants to return. However, Miami has said that they would re-sign Bush only at their price, and would consider moving on to rookie Lamar Miller next season if Bush is not brought back. A transition tag could make sense, but even that is probably more than the Dolphins want to spend on Bush.
    • Anthony Fasano - Fasano is the Dolphins top tight end, and they currently don't have anyone developing who looks like he will be ready to unseat Fasano next year. The Dolphins do have a couple of potentially dynamic players who, if they develop, give Miami weapons at the tight end position (Charles Clay, Michael Egnew), but Fasano is a player the Dolphins will likely look to re-sign. If they cannot work out a deal, making Fasano a non-exclusive rights franchise tag could make sense, given it would mean the Dolphins would have the veteran for one more season, with no commitment beyond $5.9 million.
    • Brian Hartline - Hartline is a player the Dolphins will definitely bring back next year, especially as they look to add a true number one receiver to pair with him. The 1,000 yard season will give Hartline some negotiating power with Miami, but it shoudl not be enough that the talks will break down to paying Hartline, a player who will likely be a number two receiver next season, $10 million for the year. Could the Dolphins look to transition tag Hartline at $8.6 million? I guess so, and it's not a horrible deal, but that's still more than I would pay for Hartline at this point.
    • Jake Long - Long is the player who will cause the most debate this offseason. The 2008 number one overall pick has been selected to four Pro Bowls in five seasons in the league, and was at one point considered the top offensive lineman in the league. Unfortunately for Long, the year where he did not play at a Pro Bowl level was this season, and he is no longer playing at an elite level. Long is likely going to be looking for a salary above his rookie contract, which paid him $12 million this year. He is the one Dolphins player who would fall into the 120% of his current salary rule for a franchise tag, meaning he would take up $15 million dollars if he was franchise tagged, or one quarter of the Dolphins' cap space. He could be a player worth bringing back, but if he is looking for astronomical numbers this offseason, he's going to have to get them from another franchise.
    • Sean Smith - Smith will be back in Miami. The team needs him, even if fans get frustrated by the moments of blown coverage and dropped interceptions from the team's 2009 second round pick. He has the talent to be a shutdown corner, but for some reason lapses into times where you are not sure exactly what he is doing. Smith is currently making less than $1 million a season, so a jump to over $10 million is hard to stomach, but the team will look to do whatever they have to to re-sign Smith.
    • Randy Starks - Starks is once again a Pro Bowl alternate, and has played to a level worthy of that distinction. He's currently making $3.725 million, with a transition tag nearly doubling that salary, but if the Dolphins get into a sticky position negotiating with Starks over the next few weeks, a tag could make sense to bring him back for one season, especially given his age of 29 years old. The Dolphins could also let Starks walk, moving Jared Odrickinside next to Paul Soliai, and giving the starting defensive end position opposite Cameron Wake to either a drafted rookie or the quickly developing Olivier Vernon.

    Across these six players, the two most likely to get tagged are Smith and Starks. Long has an outside chance to be tagged, or re-signed, but rookie Jonathan Martin performing well at left tackle the last few weeks hurts Long's leverage with the Dolphins. Miami will likely look to not use the tag at all this season, instead trying to re-sign all the potential free agents they want to keep, using longer term contracts to keep salary cap numbers low while they use the money on rookies or free agents.If the Dolphins had to franchise or transition tag one player this offseason, who do you think they would target?

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    MDFinFan06's Avatar
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    My guess is bush or maybe starks. I dont think we will give bush a very long contract i.e 4-5 years and that will be a sticking point. Also Bush for one more season could be perfect to help continue to develop our young rb's. Starks would be my other guess solely because he would be a big piece missing in the 4-3. Ive loved having our two huge DT's and I think it was a huge reason our front 7 was able to perform the way they did.

    Here's hoping for the new look dolphins offense.
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    1972 Dolphins LogoMike Wallace 11Cam Wake 91Tannehill 17Dolphin
    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/2...ll-on-the-line

    LaConfora "guesses" the Fins will tag Long. I will wild if Ireland tags him. No reason to anymore.

    I was a huge Long supporter, but right around the first Buffalo game I did a 180. Then, after seeing Martin perform well, I esp do not want Long back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayden Fox View Post
    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/2...ll-on-the-line

    LaConfora "guesses" the Fins will tag Long. I will wild if Ireland tags him. No reason to anymore.

    I was a huge Long supporter, but right around the first Buffalo game I did a 180. Then, after seeing Martin perform well, I esp do not want Long back.
    I think if Miami can sign Long to a short-term, salary cap friendly contract (around $5 million a year) that would be great. Otherwise, you cut ties. I think Long is still a good player, he has always been a team first guy playing through injuries to his own detriment. If the Dolphins let Long go, the team needs to draft a RT pretty high in the draft. If they sign him, he could rebound and take away one more area of need heading into the offseason. Martin has played well at LT, but he hasn't faced the best competition either. Just something else to consider.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SF Dolphin Fan View Post
    I think if Miami can sign Long to a short-term, salary cap friendly contract (around $5 million a year) that would be great. Otherwise, you cut ties. I think Long is still a good player, he has always been a team first guy playing through injuries to his own detriment. If the Dolphins let Long go, the team needs to draft a RT pretty high in the draft. If they sign him, he could rebound and take away one more area of need heading into the offseason. Martin has played well at LT, but he hasn't faced the best competition either. Just something else to consider.
    He faced Aldon Smith, which actually is the best competition.
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    Re: NFL Franchise Tags and the Miami Dolphins

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeAy3000 View Post
    He faced Aldon Smith, which actually is the best competition.
    This. Did a decent job too except for that one play when he got owned and put on his ass...
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    I have accepted Long will be back If they let him walk that is Ireland admitting Long was the Wrong pick and his vision of how to build a team is Wrong rendering the 08 & 09 drafts a bust. Sadly for us Long holds all the cards we either tag him for 15mil or another desperate team over pays him. I would let him walk, but it won't happen.
    The above post is not subject to penalty under the TOS I declare the Hayden Fox defense. " It is impossible for the staff to know my context therefore I cannot be penalized"

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    Cam Wake 912013 Dolphins LogoMike Wallace 11
    Quote Originally Posted by mnphinfan View Post
    Fixed that for ya. If you haven't seen a chance in philosophy since Parcells grabbed his cash and ran then I don't know what to tell you. Ireland has done things that totally go against Parcells philosphy and would have never been allowed if he was still in charge.

    I just don't see how they will bring him back at over $12 million/year when they already have his replacement in the building who is performing at just as good or better a level. It doesn't fit the philosphy for what they are trying to do. Many people on this board don't want to give Ireland credit for the fixes he has made to mistakes made in prior years. Just look at the picks and cap space the Fins will have next year, as well as the trash that was taken out this past offseason. We were told by the FO and coaching staff that this was not a rebuilding year but if you look at the offseason moves it was definitely a remodeling. Every player that didn't fit Philben's philosophy is now gone. We now have the picks and cash to really make a huge jump in talent. The talent base is already there on this team. We just need a couple playmakers on each side of the ball to put us into serious playoff contention. People on this forum who complain about us not signing the like of players such as Manningham, Winston and Wayne are looking at the short sided aspect of signing FA's and not what it would have done for the team long term which is what this franchise is planning for.

    Sorry man I just don't buy that argument and CK actually had some great post explaining Ireland's role and specifically his contract language that abled the Dolphins to hire him away from Dallas. It was very clear Ireland had te final authority now him might have conceded it to Parcells, but he had the authority. Do you really believe he had no say?

    Other then Tannehill personnel decisions have been the same drafting Martin high which has turned out good but still the same as years prior. Signing Hicks, Stienbach, Armstrong, Gafney, Gerrard and Leganeau lots of rent-a-junk that is out of the league.

    If anything Iteland has continued to fail the only difference is Philbin gets max production out of what he has!
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynryan15 View Post
    Sorry man I just don't buy that argument and CK actually had some great post explaining Ireland's role and specifically his contract language that abled the Dolphins to hire him away from Dallas. It was very clear Ireland had te final authority now him might have conceded it to Parcells, but he had the authority. Do you really believe he had no say?

    Other then Tannehill personnel decisions have been the same drafting Martin high which has turned out good but still the same as years prior. Signing Hicks, Stienbach, Armstrong, Gafney, Gerrard and Leganeau lots of rent-a-junk that is out of the league.

    If anything Iteland has continued to fail the only difference is Philbin gets max production out of what he has!
    Ireland was the GM and had input but Parcells definitely had the final say, hence his title "Director of Player Personel". Need I remind you that Parcells hired Ireland not the other way around. Also Ireland had to have that language written into his contract otherwise Dallas wouldn't have had to let him go because it would have been considered a lateral move according to NFL league rules.

    I find it funny how in the past that you chastised Ireland and Parcells for picking Long and Henne as the one/two picks now you chastise him again for doing the exact opposite. I know you are the driver of the Tannyhill bandwagon but you can't have it both ways. Need I remind you that Martin will probably be our starting LT next year. And don't give me the he picked Pouncey with # 15 the year prior. He was arguably the highest rated player on the board at the time, filled a need, and his now arguably the best C in the game.

    You also go ahead and make my point for me regarding the FA's. All of the signings done last year were low cost, stop gap signings. Ireland was not going to sign a bunch of long term FA's until Philbin and his staff had the ability to evaluate the entire roster. This allowed them to go into this offseason knowing exactly what they needed. They also now have the ammunition to go and get it. It's called planning for the future and most people on this board just don't get it.

    I also think it's funny how people say that the only reason the players are playing better was becauses Philbin and his staff are better coaches than Sparano and his and that it has nothing to do with the talent the players had. That's total BS. The talent was always there. Sparano and his staff just couldn't develop/get the most out of it. We are now seeing that with Philbin and his staff.
    When I die I want to hire the Miami Dolphin's to be my pallbearers so they can let me down one last time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnphinfan View Post
    Ireland was the GM and had input but Parcells definitely had the final say, hence his title "Director of Player Personel". Need I remind you that Parcells hired Ireland not the other way around. Also Ireland had to have that language written into his contract otherwise Dallas wouldn't have had to let him go because it would have been considered a lateral move according to NFL league rules.

    I find it funny how in the past that you chastised Ireland and Parcells for picking Long and Henne as the one/two picks now you chastise him again for doing the exact opposite. I know you are the driver of the Tannyhill bandwagon but you can't have it both ways. Need I remind you that Martin will probably be our starting LT next year. And don't give me the he picked Pouncey with # 15 the year prior. He was arguably the highest rated player on the board at the time, filled a need, and his now arguably the best C in the game.

    You also go ahead and make my point for me regarding the FA's. All of the signings done last year were low cost, stop gap signings. Ireland was not going to sign a bunch of long term FA's until Philbin and his staff had the ability to evaluate the entire roster. This allowed them to go into this offseason knowing exactly what they needed. They also now have the ammunition to go and get it. It's called planning for the future and most people on this board just don't get it.

    I also think it's funny how people say that the only reason the players are playing better was becauses Philbin and his staff are better coaches than Sparano and his and that it has nothing to do with the talent the players had. That's total BS. The talent was always there. Sparano and his staff just couldn't develop/get the most out of it. We are now seeing that with Philbin and his staff.

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