Franchise Tender Explanation
An "exclusive" franchise player -- not free to sign with another team -- is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries at the player's position for the current year as of mid-April (exact date has not been revealed yet), or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, or the average of the top five salaries at his position as of the end of last season -- whichever of the three is greater.
The last "exclusive" franchise player was Oakland Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha in 2008.
If the player is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries of last season at his position, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, he becomes a "non-exclusive" franchise player and can negotiate with other team. His old team can match a new team's offer, or receive two first-round draft choices if it decides not to match.
Transition Tender Explanation
Each NFL team can designate either one "franchise" or one "transition" player in a capped year. However, in the final year league year (2010 in this case), teams can designate two players (one transition player and one franchise player).
A transition player must be offered a minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries of the prior season at the player's position or 120 percent of the player's prior year's salary, whichever is greater.
A transition player designation gives the original team a first-refusal right to match within seven days an offer sheet given to the player by another team after his contract expires. If the originating team matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no draft pick compensation from the team that submitted the offer sheet.
Franchise/Transition Tag Levels
Comments: Peyton Manning led the way with a number of $21.199998 million. Included was his base salary of $14 million and bonus proration of $7.199998 million. The final two years (2011-2012) of his contract will void based on meeting a minimum playing time requirement in just one season, a source said. Donovan McNabb came in second with a number of $16.704170.
Comments: A few surprises here. Reggie Bush had the biggest number at $10.585 million. His number came from his base salary, bonus proration, and roster bonus. Coming in second was Brian Westbrook at $8.633333 million.
Comments: Larry Fitzgerald led the way with a number of $10.893332 million. His number is comprised mostly of his base salary, bonus proration, and roster bonus. Coming in second was Antonio Bryant at his franchise salary of $9.884 million. Because of his knee problems, Bryant only posted 39 receptions. It didn't help that he had to play with a rookie quarterback for most of the season.
Comments: Dallas Clark came in highest with a number of $6.773333 million. His base salary and bonus proration made up the entirety of the number. Daniel Graham came in second at $6.45 million. That's a high price to pay for essentially a blocking tight end. However, he may be the best blocking tight end in the NFL.
Comments: Thanks to his contract extension, Joe Staley came in with the highest number at $13.52 million. His number was comprised of his base salary of $460,000, bonus proration of $850,000, and roster bonus of $12,210 million. Workout bonuses are not included in the calculation. Jason Peters came in second with a number of $12.7 million.
Comments: Because kickers and punters are combined, P Shane Lechler led this position at $3.1 million.
Comments: Tommie Harris, not Albert Haynesworth, led the way with a number of $8.59 million. Harris' $6.67 million roster bonus made up most of his number. Haynesworth came in second at $7 million.
Comments: Julius Peppers, as expected, came in with the highest number at $16.683 million (his base salary). However, his $2.5 million in bonus money (likely to be earned incentives) was not included. Jared Allen came in second with a number of $14.533344 million.
Comments: DeMarcus Ware led the way at a number of $11.435693. Karlos Dansby came in second with his franchise salary of $9.678 million. It's hard to believe that the Cardinals would use their franchise tag again and pay Dansby $11.6136 million for 2010. Dansby is a solid player, but he's not close to the impact player that Ware is.
Comments: Adrian Wilson, who signed an extension last September, came in with the highest number (base salary and bonus protation) at $7.039503 million. Troy Polamalu came in second at $6.495 million.
Comments: Champ Bailey led the way with a number (base salary, bonus proration, and signing bonus) of $13.188525 million. Dunta Robinson, based on his franchise number of $9.957 million, came in second. If the Texans used their franchise tag again on Robinson, they would owe him a base salary of $11.9484 million.
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