First a quick lesson:
Franchise Player - A club can designate one franchise player, who must be offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries at the player's position, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. If the player is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries of last season at his position, he can negotiate with other clubs. His old club can match a new club's offer or receive two first-round draft choices if it decides not to match. An "exclusive" franchise player is not free to sign with another club. A club may withdraw a franchise designation at any time. The player becomes an unrestricted free agent when that withdrawal occurs.
Transition Player - A player who must receive a minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries of last season at his position or 120 percent of his previous year's salary, whichever is greater. Present teams maintain a first-refusal right to match any bids from new teams within seven days of the signing of an offer sheet after the player's contract expires. If the club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no compensation. A club may withdraw a transition designation at any time. The player becomes an unrestricted free agent when that withdrawal occurs.
Ok, lesson over, did you get that?
These designations exist when a club wants to keep a player, and does NOT want to take a chance on another club luring them away for the almighty $
Left Tackle Luke Petitgout is a perfect example. If the Giants don't tag him today or sign him by Feb. 28, he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Bucs have both expressed interest in going after Petitgout if the Giants don't sign him.
This is the guy who protected QB Kerry Collins all season, and did so very well.
Petitgout is their top free agent priority and the Giants could still use the franchise tag on him today, but it seems unlikely.
Sources say the Giants are at the negotiating table working out a deal, but it's going to cost them.
Last week the Star-Ledger reported that the Giants offered Petitgout a five-year, $21 million deal, which included a $6 million signing bonus... and he rejected it.
He knows what he's worth. Let's hope the Giants know too...