NFL: Franchise and Transition Players Named

Franchise and transition player designations were announced today for the 2018 NFL free agency signing period, which begins at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 14.

A club can designate one “franchise” player or one “transition” player among its veteran free agents.

The salary offer by a player’s club determines whether the franchise player designation is exclusive or non-exclusive.

An “exclusive” franchise player – not free to sign with another club – is offered the greater of (i) the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position for the current year as of the end of the restricted free agent signing period on April 20; or (ii) the amount of the required tender for a “non-exclusive” franchise player, as explained below.

Article 10, Section 2(a)(i) of the CBA sets forth the methodology, known as the “Cap Percentage Average,” for calculating the required tender for such a player:

The Nonexclusive Franchise Tender shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for (A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position . . . at which the Franchise Player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year, which average shall be calculated by: (1) summing the amounts of the Franchise Tags for players at that position for the five preceding League Years; (2) dividing the resulting amount by the sum of the Salary Caps for the five preceding League Years . . . ; and (3) multiplying the resulting percentage by the Salary Cap for the upcoming League Year . . . (the “Cap Percentage Average”) . . . ; or (B) 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater . . . .

If a club extends a required tender to a non-exclusive franchise player pursuant to this section, the player shall be permitted to negotiate a player contract with any club, except that draft choice compensation of two first-round draft selections shall be made in the event he signs with a new club.

The signing period for franchise players begins at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on March 14 and ends on the Tuesday following the 10th week of the season (November 13).

This year, one player (Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh) was designated as an exclusive franchise player.  Four players were designated as non-exclusive franchise players.


Club Player Position
Dallas Cowboys Demarcus Lawrence DE
Detroit Lions Ezekiel Ansah DE
Los Angeles Rams Lamarcus Joyner S
Miami Dolphins Jarvis Landry WR
Pittsburgh Steelers Le’Veon Bell* RB

*Denotes Exclusive Franchise Player​

A transition player is offered the greater of (i) the average of the top 10 prior year salaries at the player’s position, which average is calculated using the same methodology used for non-exclusive franchise players (the Cap Percentage Average); or (ii) 120% of his prior year salary.

If a club extends a required tender to a transition player, the player shall be permitted to negotiate a contract with any club subject to his prior club’s right of first refusal, except that no draft choice compensation shall be made with respect to such player if his prior club declines to exercise its right of first refusal.

The signing period for transition players begins at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on March 14 and ends on July 23.  After July 23 and until 4:00p.m. (ET) on the Tuesday following the 10th week of the season (November 13), the prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.

This year, the following player was designated as a transition player.


Club Player Position
Chicago Bears Kyle Fuller CB

The Salary Cap for the 2018 league year has been set at $177,200,000 per club. The resulting 2018 Cap Percentage Average (“CPA”) tenders for nonexclusive franchise players and transition players are as follows:


Position Tender Amount
Quarterback $ 23,189,000
Running Back $ 11,866,000
Wide Receiver $ 15,982,000
Tight End $   9,846,000
Offensive Linemen $ 14,077,000
Defensive End $ 17,143,000
Defensive Tackle $ 13,939,000
Linebacker $ 14,961,000
Cornerback $ 14,975,000
Safety $ 11,287,000
Kicker/Punter $   4,939,000


Position Tender Amount
Quarterback $ 20,922,000
Running Back $   9,630,000
Wide Receiver $ 13,924,000
Tight End $   8,428,000
Offensive Linemen $ 12,525,000
Defensive End $ 14,200,000
Defensive Tackle $ 11,407,000
Linebacker $ 12,810,000
Cornerback $ 12,971,000
Safety $   9,536,000
Kicker/Punter $   4,493,000

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