Tag Archives: NFL Contracts

Le’Veon Bell Likely To Get The Exclusive Form Of The Franchise Tag

​It certainly looks as though Le’Veon Bell will be given the Franchise Tag and that it will be the Exclusive variety of the tag.

I should point out that Cynthia Frelund’s already debunked NFL Network report that Adrian Peterson being released would lower the Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag Value to approximately $8 million has nothing at all to do with this.
Whichever intern she had run those numbers made an error. She seems pretty bright. I doubt she would have overlooked details that badly.

Just for the heck of it yesterday, I finally did the math to see how much more it would cost to limit Bell’s ability to negotiate with other teams. The Non-Exclusive Franchise Tender gives players the ability to accept an offer from another team and nets the previous team two 1st round draft choices from the team signing the player should the player’s old team choose not to match that offer.

What I found is that the declining running back market has finally brought the current year average of the top 5 running back salary numbers down enough that the Exclusive version of the tag is actually less expensive this year than the Non-Exclusive version.

We know that the Non-Exclusive Franchise percentage for RBs will be 7.257%. If the cap comes in at $168M, that’s $12.191M.

The Exclusive number “is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position for the current year, or 120 percent of the player’s previous salary, whichever is greater.”

Further, per Ian Whetstone (who, if you have any interest in the Steelers cap you should be following on Twitter @IanWhetstone), “For purposes of tag calculations, portions of the cap hits stemming from workout bonuses and likely-to-be-earned incentives are ignored. That brings (some of) these figures down a little.”

The figures Ian is referring to are the top 5 salary cap hits for running backs in 2017.
Those hits are:
Adrian Peterson, Vikings, $18,000,000
LeSean McCoy, Bills, $8,875,000
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers, $8,250,000
Doug Martin, Buccaneers, $7,000,000
DeMarco Murray , Titans, $6,950,000
An average of $9,815,000. Thus, Bell is almost certain to get the Exclusive Tag, no matter what.

If Peterson gets cut and signs a deal with a cap value below $6.5M (doubtful), the top 5 cap figures at RB become:
LeSean McCoy, Bills, $8,875,000
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers, $8,250,000
Doug Martin, Buccaneers, $7,000,000
DeMarco Murray , Titans, $6,950,000
Lamar Miller, Texans, $6,500,000
An average of $7,515,000

Remember those figures I’m listing are a little rough and actually a little high. What is clear is that the Exclusive Franchise Tag value will be lower than the Non-Exclusive version and that this situation may even make it plausible that Bell could be franchised again in 2018 if they cannot reach a long term agreement this year.
A 20% increase on $9.8 million is a lot easier to swallow than a 20% increase on $12.2 million.

UPDATE: the prior version of this article did not include an explanation of Clause B in determining the Exclusive Franchise Tag value.

The “whichever is greater” passage in this section means that while the Steelers will save no money, they also will not spend more to keep Bell an exclusive rights franchise player.

We can still expect the Steelers to make every effort to sign Bell to a long term deal this year. After tagging him, they will have until July 15th to do so.