Today is the first day that teams can utilize the famed “franchise tag” on their players. That means the Kansas City Chiefs really need to evaluate their cash-flow issues as well as their personnel.
This from the twitter account of NFL Insider Ian Rapoport
Today is the 1st day teams can franchise tag a player. March 3 is the last. But… it’s a league holiday. Possible someone is tagged today.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 17, 2014
If you’re not familiar with how the franchise tag works, allow me to explain.
If a team has a player who is scheduled to hit free agency because their contract will expire at the end of the league year — this year, that’s March 11 — then the team can designate that player as their “franchise player” and essentially extend their contract — involuntarily — by one year. In doing this, the team must pay a salary to the “tagged” player that is the average of the top-five salaries of that position across the league.
For example, if the Chiefs were to place the “tag” on soon-to-be free agent Dexter McCluster they would owe him just north of $10.5 million for the 2014 season. Seems a little steep? I think it’s safe to say that McCluster won’t get the tag applied to him.
If the Chiefs don’t use the tag this year, it would be the first time since the 2010 off season that it wasn’t applied. Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali got slapped with the tag in 2011, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was saddled with it in 2012 and this past season, left tackle Branden Albert played under the tag.
If the Chiefs were going to use the tag this year, the only player that would make sense would be to give it to Albert for a second season. However, doing that — tagging a player for a second time — would add a 20 percent charge to the player’s salary. Albert got a check of $9.8 million last season under the tag. With the increase — he would earn 120 percent of his 2013 salary under NFL rules — Albert would be owed almost $11 million for the 2014 season.
As the Chiefs are already strapped for cash and they have two very workable — and much cheaper — solutions at left tackle in either Eric Fisher or Donald Stephenson, I don’t see Dorsey giving the tag to Albert this year.
Sound off Addicts. What do you think? Should the Chiefs find a way to tag Albert for this season or just let him fade away?