There are special types of contracts that are used throughout the offseason by the league’s teams called “franchise tags”. They are ones different and unique among typical deals, for they grant the player on the receiving end of it a 1-year offer that retains them for a payment equal to the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position in the previous season or 120 percent of his prior year’s salary, whichever is the greater total. Teams are typically given one of these special contracts per year, but that number could elevate to 2 in 2010 depending on the Collective Bargaining Agreement. What does this all have to do with the Eagles and the rest of the NFL? Well, the league released updated payment totals for all of the positions in terms of their franchise tag value, and there was a significantly notable boost in the amounts for Defensive Ends (which also happens to be a position of need for the Birds this offseason).
While the Quarterback position saw it’s salary total for the tags remain the highest out of all positions (as expected), the Defensive End spot’s average total jumped from $8.991 million in 2009 to $12.398 million (which will be in effect for the offseason/2010 season), which comes out to be about a 38% increase. Basically, it means that any DE around the league scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent that is slapped with their club’s franchise tag will be due a hefty deal for only one season. With Philadelphia likely in search of a top-notch linemen to start opposite Trent Cole on the defensive front, they may be forced to offer a larger amount of money than expected for someone like Julius Peppers.
If the 2010 season is decided to be played without a salary cap (and hence the CBA is not agreed upon), all teams would be allowed to execute two franchise tag transactions, which would perhaps limit some of the talent that would have been available in free agency. Listed here are the other position’s tag value for this offseason: $16.405 million for Quarterbacks; $8.156 million for Running Backs; $9.521 million for Wide Receivers; $5.908 million for Tight Ends; $10.731 million for offensive linemen; $12.398 million for Defensive Ends; $7.003 million for Defensive Tackles; $9.680 million for Linebackers; $6.455 million for Safeties; $9.566 million for Cornerbacks; and $2.814 million for Punters and Kickers.