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Franchise Tags and Transition Tags

Understanding the Difference

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This Year's Free Agents by Position

• 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."

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