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Six players given franchise tag before deadline

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By PFW staff

Six players were given the franchise tag by their teams before the 4 p.m. EST deadline Thursday, including three nose tackles, two placekickers and one defensive end.

With the NT position in a 3-4 defense considered difficult to fill, and the tender amount considered reasonable in that context, nose tackles comprised half of the franchise tags. Unless they sign long-term deals prior to the season, the 49ers' Aubrayo Franklin, the Packers' Ryan Pickett and the Patriots' Vince Wilfork will all play under one-year contracts that pay them $7.003 million (nose tackles are lumped together with 4-3 DTs for the purpose of calculating franchise amounts).

Another nose tackle, the Steelers' Casey Hampton, signed a new three-year contract earlier in the day for a reported $21 million, which averages almost identically to the $7 million annual salary the tagged nose tackles will receive next season.

Inking Hampton to a new deal enabled Pittsburgh to use its tag on PK Jeff Reed, one of two placekickers who will earn $2.814 million if they play under the terms of the tag. The other tagged kicker is Seattle's Olindo Mare.

Rounding out the list of franchised players is Oakland DE Richard Seymour, whom the Raiders acquired from New England at the start of last season in exchange for a 2011 first-round draft choice.

Seymour is the only one of the six to be slapped with an exclusive franchise tag, meaning he cannot negotiate with another team, unlike the other five, who were given "non-exclusive" tags. Because of the exclusive tag, Seymour will earn the higher amount of the following: (1) the average of the top five salaries at his position during 2009, which was $12.398 million; (2) 120 percent of his 2009 salary, which was $3.685 million; or (3) the average of the top five salaries at his position as of April 15, 2010.

Following are the franchise and transition tender amounts for this year's free agents, based on 2009 salaries:

Quarterbacks
Franchise: $16.405 million
Transition: $14.546 million

Running backs
Franchise: $8.156 million
Transition: $7.151 million

Wide receivers
Franchise: $9.521 million
Transition: $8.651 million

Tight ends
Franchise: $5.908 million
Transition: $5.248 million

Offensive linemen
Franchise: $10.731 million
Transition: $9.142 million

Defensive ends
Franchise: $12.398 million
Transition: $10.193 million

Defensive tackles and nose tackles
Franchise: $7.003 million
Transition: $6.353 million

Linebackers
Franchise: $9.68 million
Transition: $8.373 million

Cornerbacks
Franchise: $9.566 million
Transition: $8.056 million

Safeties
Franchise: $6.455 million
Transition: $6.011 million

Punters and placekickers
Franchise: $2.814 million
Transition: $2.629 million

 

For the most authoritative NFL draft news and free-agency analysis, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.

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