This is truly a sad day for football fans everywhere. With the conclusion of the Super Bowl, it marks the beggining of seven very long months. Yes, that’s right seven months of fans wondering “What might of been” and dreaming of “What’s to come”. So what’s next for the NFL? Besides the dreaded Pro Bowl game this coming Sunday? Mark Thursday the 5th of February on your calendars. Why?
Thursday marks the kickoff of the “Franchise and Transition Tags”bargain special for the league. For fifteen wonderful days, teams will have to decide weather or not to secure a players rights for another year. But in doing so, comes a price. Here’s a better explanation of what this all means:
• A club can designate one franchise player or one transition player in any given year.
• The salary level offer by a player’s old club determines what type of franchise player he is.
• An “exclusive” franchise player — not free to sign with another club — is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position as of April 16, 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, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary, he becomes a “non-exclusive” franchise player and 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. The signing period for non-exclusive franchise players to sign with new clubs is March 3 through November 9 (10th week of the season).
• A transition player has received a minimum offer of the average of the top 10 salaries of last season at the player’s position or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater.
• A transition player designation gives the club a first-refusal right to match within seven days an offer sheet given to the player by another club after his contract expires. If the club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no compensation. Transition players can be signed from March 3 through July 22.”
Oh and before I forget to mention this “Congratulations” are due for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers win over the Arizona Cardinalsin Super Bowl 43 brings the Lombardi trophy back home to the AFC, once again. It also marks the sixth time in league history that the Steelers have raised good ole Mr. Lombardi.