The Patriots used their franchise tag on
If you're still with me here, there are actually two different kinds of tags that can be applied. The franchise tag can either be exclusive or non-exclusive, and there is also the transition tag. A non-exclusive designation allows a player to negotiate with other teams, but the original team has a right to match the terms of any offer...and if they don't, they may receive two first-round draft picks as compensation for losing the player.
A transition tag? Well, if a team chooses this designation, the player must be offered a minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries of the prior season at his position or 120 percent of the player's prior year's salary, whichever is greater. A transition player designation gives the team 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 original club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no compensation.
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