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Union says franchise tags won't apply in 2011

The NFL Players Association is disputing the NFL's contention it can apply a franchise tag to players whose contracts expire at the end of the 2010 league year, which throws into question the Ravens' ability to tag defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

A statement from the NFLPA's legal and salary cap departments said the union had "received reports that the NFL is advising clubs" they can use the franchise tag on unrestricted or restricted free agents.

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The rest of the union statement read:

"The current CBA provides that 'each club shall be permitted to designate one of its players who would otherwise be an Unrestricted Free Agent [or Restricted Free Agent] as a Franchise Player each season during the term of this Agreement.' The 2011 season is not a 'season during the term of this Agreement' so the NFL has no valid basis for claiming the right to franchise players in 2011."

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