What Does Franchise Tag Mean

Unlock the secrets of franchise tag in sports leagues like NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. Learn how teams retain players and the impact on players’ contracts.


Franchise tag, a term commonly used in sports, refers to a designation that allows a team to retain a player for one more season by offering him a one-year contract. This concept is prevalent in leagues like the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. Let’s delve deeper into what franchise tag means and how it impacts both players and teams.

How Does Franchise Tag Work

When a team places a franchise tag on a player, it signifies that the player is unable to negotiate with other teams during the specified period. The player’s salary is determined based on the average of the top salaries at his position or a percentage increase from his previous year’s salary, whichever is higher. This ensures that the player receives a fair compensation for his services.

Benefits for Teams

  • Retaining key players: Franchise tag allows teams to hold on to their star players for another season, giving them time to negotiate a long-term contract.
  • Flexibility in roster management: Teams can use the franchise tag strategically to protect their assets and maintain a competitive roster.

Implications for Players

  • Limited freedom: Players may feel restricted by the franchise tag as they are unable to explore offers from other teams and secure a multi-year deal.
  • Financial security: On the other hand, the franchise tag guarantees players a significant payday for one season, providing them with financial stability.

Examples and Case Studies

In the NFL, players like Dak Prescott and Justin Simmons have been franchise tagged by their respective teams. While this ensures they will be paid handsomely for the upcoming season, they also aim to negotiate a lucrative long-term contract. Similarly, in the NBA, players like Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins have been franchise tagged in the past, leading to varying outcomes for both parties.

Statistics and Trends

According to recent data, the number of franchise tags used by teams has been fluctuating in different sports leagues. In the NFL, the usage of franchise tags has decreased in recent years, while in the NBA, there has been a steady increase. This trend reflects the evolving strategies adopted by teams to retain their top talent and navigate the salary cap implications.


Franchise tag serves as a valuable tool for teams to retain key players and manage their roster effectively. While it may pose challenges for players in terms of limited freedom, it also guarantees them a substantial salary for the upcoming season. Understanding the implications of franchise tag is essential for both players and teams to make informed decisions in the dynamic world of professional sports.

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