Players are financially disadvantaged by franchise tag

By James Scalia
On February 21, 2018

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison, Wikipedia

The NFL’s franchise tag has become a common buffer for long-term contracts throughout the league. Each team is designated one tag per year for the option to use on a player. It’s also important to remember that when the tag is placed on a player, it only stands for one year, and the player is given the average of what the top five players at their respective position are earning.

It usually isn’t an ideal option for the player or the team because of the troubles of agreeing to a long-term deal within the time frame they were given. In a sense, this process binds a player to a team and they are given practically no leverage in contract negotiations.

Players like Josh Norman, Kirk Cousins and Olivier Vernon are all players that were given the franchise tag in situations where they wanted a long-term contract instead. Norman especially was put in a peculiar situation when general manager Dave Gettleman placed the franchise tag on him and then rescinded it before Norman was able to play the next season.

He automatically became a free agent and signed a long-term deal with the Washington Redskins.

Yes, athletes make large sums of money through professional sports like football, baseball and basketball. There is a different dynamic in football however.

Even though a team only has to play roughly 20 games including regular and preseason (and if they make the playoffs, another three to four games is a possibility), football is the most grueling sport on the body across the major U.S. professional sports.

There’s full force contact happening on every play within just a single game. These eventually take a toll on a player’s body and some men can only be productive for 10 years or less. Reasons like this prove that these men just want to make a good amount of money for themselves and their family since their actual career occurs over a short period of time.

They want to cash in and get out while still being able to live a comfortable life after football. The franchise tag puts a dent in this strategy because even though they can make a good amount of money from it, it puts them at jeopardy of getting hurt and possibly never getting that long-term deal they desired.

Long-term deals have one key component that every NFL player is aiming for: guaranteed money. With guaranteed money, players don’t have toworry about getting injured and ending up with very little money at the end of their careers. It’s insurance they invest in for their future endeavors.

I believe the franchise tag is a detrimental tool used on NFL players because even though they do receive a lot of money from it, they should be able to have a say into what their future is going to be. Even if you think that they are getting overpaid, they are still working for their paycheck at the end of the day and have dedicated their lives to playing the dangerous sport. They deserve more respect from franchises and team owners.

 

jscalia@ramapo.edu

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