NEW YORK – Where are the NFL All-Pros without contracts going?
Nowhere, it appears.
Super Bowl most valuable player Von Miller and fellow All-Pro players Josh Norman and Eric Berry were given franchise tags Tuesday, the league’s deadline to do so. Tags govern players’ ability to negotiate moves to other franchises.
In all, nine players were slapped with the franchise tag and one, Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, got the transition tag.
Broncos linebacker Miller was the only player to get the exclusive tag, at $14.129 million, meaning no other team can make him an offer.
Panthers cornerback Norman and Chiefs safety Berry were among the eight who received non-exclusive designations, so other clubs can make offers, but their current teams have the right to match or get compensated with two first-round draft picks.
Also getting tagged with free agency set to begin on March 9 were Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery, Ravens placekicker Justin Tucker, Bills tackle Cordy Glenn and Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson.
The players have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract with their teams. If they can’t — and most franchises are eager to get these players locked up for several years — then the salary for 2016 is determined by the tag designation.
Cousins would earn the most, $19.9 million, because quarterbacks have the highest tag number. Wilkerson would be next at $15.7 million.
Miami decided against placing the franchise tag on Vernon, and this year’s transition number calls for defensive ends to receive $12.734 million. A transition tag allows the player to negotiate with other teams, but his current club has the right of first refusal to match any offer. Should Vernon leave, there is no compensation for Miami.