— Aaron Wilson
Exclusive franchise tag vs. non-exclusive franchise tag
Under the NFL collective bargaining agreement, teams are allowed to designate one player annually as their franchise player. That prevents the player, who's typically a highly valued elite performer, from becoming an unrestricted free agent and signing with another team.
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If a player is designated as an exclusive franchise player, they receive a one-year tender salary derived from the average of the top five salaries at his position or a salary at least 120 percent higher than his previous year's salary, whichever is higher. The player isn't allowed to negotiate with other teams. The quarterback exclusive franchise figure for 2013 is $20.46 million.
If a player is designated as a non-exclusive franchise player — the quarterback non-exclusive figure for 2013 is $14.6 million — then they're allowed to negotiate with other teams. If a player agrees to a contract with another team, his current team has the right of first refusal to match any deal.
Should the team opt not to match, the player would go to the other team. The original team would be compensated with two first-round draft picks from the team that signed the franchise player.
However, NFL teams tend to not try to sign other teams' non-exclusive franchise players because it involves doing someone else's negotiating work for them and then they would likely wind up not obtaining the player.
— Aaron Wilson