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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Franchise period set to begin

The time for teams to place the franchise tag on potential free agents begins Feb. 7, and continues until February 21.

The tag gives a team a right of first refusal as to any offer sheet signed by the player. If the team then chooses not to match the offer, it receives two first-round draft picks as compensation.

But don't expect the Steelers to take that route with guard Alan Faneca.

To use the franchise tag, the club must offer the player a one-year deal with a salary equivalent to the average of the five highest-paid players at his position in the league. The pay is determined not by 2007 salary, but by cap number, which is a huge difference.

There are two levels of franchise tag, nonexclusive and exclusive. The exclusive version does not allow the the player to negotiate with other teams.

According to some reports, players who could possibly get the tag this year include: Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross, Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby, Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, Patriots receiver Randy Moss, Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant, Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen and Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.

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