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No need for the franchise tag

Posted by Darren Urban on February 11, 2014 – 4:54 pm

During this slow time of the NFL year, it’s hard not to notice little things, like the comments of Karlos Dansby saying he expects to remain a Cardinal. Big news? Not really. But it’s more defined than Dansby was at the end of the season, so that, to me, breeds more optimism. Dansby is probably the most high-profile free-agent-to-be the Cards want to re-sign. Which got me thinking of the franchise tag, because of all the free agents the Cards have (and in part because the Cards, Dansby and the franchise tag were synonymous for a while.)

Teams can use the franchise tag as early as Monday. The tag, for those unfamiliar, is a set number for each position based on the top five or top 10 salaries at that position the previous year. It’s a guaranteed salary as soon as the player signs it. If a player is tagged, he can still sign elsewhere, but his original team has a chance to match, and if they don’t, there is a heavy price to pay — usually a pair of first-round picks. The chances are good right now, for instance, that Saints tight end Jimmy Graham will be tagged so he doesn’t hit the open market in March.

The Cardinals, however, don’t have that issue. Dansby is not going to be franchise tagged (at a projected $10.9 million for linebackers for one season.) None of the Cards’ free-agents-to-be fall into that category, in fact. Even for players the Cardinals could want to re-sign — linebacker Matt Shaughnessy, wide receiver Andre Roberts, tackle Eric Winston, for instance — aren’t going to command the kind of money nor get from the Cards anywhere close to the kind of money the tag dictates. There is a reason it is called the “franchise” tag because it is supposed to be for franchise-type players.

UPDATE: I was reminded of a ruling in a case of Drew Brees, who was once franchised by San Diego and later by New Orleans, that tags are considered cumulatively over a player’s entire career, not just if they are in consecutive years. So Dansby, since he was already franchised twice in his career, would be considered tagged for a third time if the Cards were to do so, making his salary an average of the top five salaries in the league. That’s quarterback money, and only underscores why Dansby wouldn’t be tagged again.

The last time the Cardinals used a franchise tag, it was on defensive end Calais Campbell in 2012. That time, the tag did exactly what it was supposed to do — buy the two sides extra time to negotiate a long-term deal. Before that, the last tagged guy was Dansby. He got it two years in a row, and then, well, we know how that turned out. Funny that now that the Cards won’t be tagging him again, he probably has a better chance of sticking around.


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Posted in Blog | 10 Comments »


10 Responses to “No need for the franchise tag”

  1. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    Good post. This is very heartening, Los is key for our SB run in 2014! Unreal year he had, one of the better we’ve seen in AZ Cards history, no? He was the glue (not that he didn’t benefit from DWash). Uncanny knack for being in the right place, either instincts or football IQ.. or both. Thoughts on his knack D?

  2. By Cards Season Ticket Holder on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    Fan-tastic.
    Go Cards.

  3. By Big Ken on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    Franchise Tag? uh no. Don’t get me wrong bloggers. Kevin Minter-plug and play.

  4. By Cardfan on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    Darren maybe I have missed the post but what are the Draft picks the Cards have for this year? With the Palmer trade and I know brown’s trade gave them nothing since he didn’t perform in Pitts either. Did we loose a second round? Thanks.

  5. By Darren Urban on Feb 12, 2014 | Reply

    Cardfan —

    RE: Draft picks

    That list has yet to be officially released. I think the Cards a down a seventh-rounder from the Palmer trade.

  6. By georgiebird on Feb 12, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,
    Dansby already has gone down the FA road and nobody wanted him. KD (at his age) doesn’t want the indignity of going down that road again a year later and a year older.
    KD and the Cards will come to some one year contract agreement.
    KD had a very good year with the Cards but he’s not the future. Having old guys like KD and JA as the best performing LBs in 2013 does not bode well for the future. Time for an upgrade.

  7. By Big Ken on Feb 12, 2014 | Reply

    I’m with you Georgie. There’s some fairly good guys under contract. Let at least take a look at existing team talent and take it from there.

  8. By ored on Feb 12, 2014 | Reply

    just thinking that every linebacker we drafted has been an attempt to improve and get younger,and if not for injuries and washingtons flub,some things might be different,but regardless of age and circumstances,if dansby and abraham repeat their performances this season,i’ll not complain.might be even better,abraham did very little until his playing time increased and LOS has said he wants to improve in certain areas,like interceptions maybe.if their play is just equal to last year and with the injured back healthy,i think we improve right there.

  9. By erik on Feb 12, 2014 | Reply

    I agree with Ored. It’s not time to move on if Dansby and Abraham continue to play like they did. I see what you mean for the future, but I think the focus is on 2014. This team has a very real chance next year.

  10. By Big Ken on Feb 18, 2014 | Reply

    I gonna rip the wheels off the Dansby band wagon!

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