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Packers Calendar: First Day for Franchise and Transition Tags in the NFL

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Packers Calendar: First Day for Franchise and Transition Tags in the NFL

Monday marks the first day all NFL teams can start applying franchise or transition tags on players, essentially an attempt to prevent them from leaving via free agency.

For the Green Bay Packers, this means the clock starts ticking on cornerback Sam Shields and defensive lineman B.J. Raji.

While Shields and Raji perhaps represent the two best candidates to be tagged, there's no guarantee with either, and––in fact––a maximum of one can be tagged at all.

The deadline to apply franchise and transition tags is March 3, about a week before the start of free agency (March 11).

For a primer on the difference between exclusive and non-exclusive franchise tags and how the value of tags are calculated, this article by former NFL agent Joel Corry at provides a good starting point.

The odds that the Packers use any such tag on Raji appear unlikely after a subpar season in which he made only 17 tackles, zero sacks and reportedly spurned an offer from the Packers that would have paid him an average of $8 million per season.

Perhaps the likelihood that the Packers tag Shields is greater, although it's something both parties would like to avoid if at all possible.

For one, the Packers would  prefer not to pay Shields such a high amount of money (the franchise tag is estimated to be $11.3 million for one year). And two, both the team and Shields would rather agree on a long-term contract.

A tag of any sort would only be used as a last resort.

Although the use of the transition tag is becoming increasingly rare in the NFL because it doesn't give the team compensation if the player happens to leave (only the right to match another team's offer), it can't be ruled out with Shields.

Using the transition tag would save the Packers money. The method in which tags are calculated is rather complicated, but in short, the transition tag basically pays players the average of the top 10 at their position. Comparatively, the franchise tag pays an average of the top five players at each respective position.

The exact and official values of either tag have not been released by the NFL.

Predictions on what Shields might receive on the open market are all over the board, but whatever happens, time is now running out for the Packers and Shields to agree on a long-term extension.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (19) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

James C's picture

We should just let Shields walk along with Raji. He's not worth #1 CB money. When he got hurt during the 49er game, our D didn't play any worse, and it's not like with him our D was any good. Rather use that money to bring in an actual difference maker. Orakpo please.

Andrew's picture

I'm much higher on Shields than you. Easily the most consistent performer in our secondary and I'd place him among the top 15 corners in the league, personally. No way we can let him walk, especially with Tramon likely on the way out in the next year or two.

James C's picture

Saying he's a top 15 CB in the NFL is a little crazy in my book. A lot of great corners out there and it's not like he shut anybody down last year, as #1 WRs had a field day against our D. Yes he has great ball skills but he's not always in great position, takes too many risks down field, and is well below average when it comes to tackling. That's not the recipe for a top 15 CB.

Stroh's picture

He uses to be a below average tackler I wouldn't say he was lazt year. Early in the year he was taking the #1WR every game and was doing a very good job of it. AJ Green comes immediately to mind. 4/65 and a TD on a 40 yd pass that was a blown coverage by the safety.

I would say 15th is about right plus he's only 26 and still improving since he hasn't been playing CB long.

Phatgzus's picture

Josh Gordon, Green, Jeffrey and Megatron (once each) didn't have great games, relatively speaking, vs. him either; that's 4 of arguably the top 5 receivers in the league. Sure he had some help, still damn good.

Stroh's picture

And here I thought the Packers needed more good players not less! Sure glad we have you to enlighten us all...

Orakpo's going to get Matthews money in FA, if he gets there and he is averaging less than 10 sacks a season! We should definitely overpay him for his underperformance.

Personally I would rather have Kerrigan from Wash, he plays the LOLB spot opposite Matthews and Orakpo and plays it nearly as well as Orakpo does his side, despite not having the freedom to just pass rush. And he would probably cost about 5M less per year.

James C's picture

Well someone has to enlighten you :). I'd rather have Kerrigan too, but he's not up to be a FA. And Orakpo averages well over 10 sacks a season if you only count the seasons that he played more then 2 games in. He pretty much missed a whole season which skews that stat a bit. He's just as good and worth just as much as Matthews IMO. Some might say he's even better. Anyways I rather spend my money on the front 7 and the pass rush, rather then on a CB when we still have 4 good ones on our roster. 

Stroh's picture

You haven't enlighted anyone, except to prove your WRONG! Not counting his injury season, he has 38.5 sacks in his other 4 seasons, how is it that equates to "well over" 10 sacks per?! It is in FACT less than 10. See unlike you I check on some facts before I comment on them! So go try to enlighten some other fans that will buy whatever you throw at them. It certainly isn't going to be me!

Stroh's picture

As a point of fact... Matthews has 4 more sacks in 4 FEWER games. Not including this season for Matthews, since he missed a lot of time and played hurt in a quite a few more.

Stroh's picture

Oh and Matthews has 11 forced turnovers and 22 passes defensed in those games as opposed to Orakpo's 6 and 12.

Orakpo is nowhere near Matthews performance level. Hope that enlightens you...

James C's picture

Dude, why so aggressive? Is it that time of the month? I wasn't trying to enlighten anybody, only wanted to state my opinion and what I would do. I only used the word enlighten in a sarcastic way b/c you used it in a sarcastic way. No need to be so pissy about it. Yes you are right, my math is wrong, playing from 09 to 2013 is 5 years not 4, honest mistake. My agreement still remains though, he averages close to 10 sacks a season when playing more then 2 games, which is not much less then Matthews. Your other stats are nice and all, but doesn't really prove anything, not that I was saying Orakpo was better then Matthews in the first place. Every D faces different challenges which can skew stats. The packers D has been pretty bad against the pass all but one year Matthews has been here, and teams generally have to pass against us to keep up and a head of Rodgers. While the skins play a much more conservative, ball control offense, which leads to less passing attempts and less plays in general. Anyways I never wanted to compare Matthews to Orakpo. I only stated that I want Orakpo because our D sucks and he can make it better. 

Stroh's picture

Sorry realized I was a little strong there...

No matter you did say Orakpo was better in your opinion and you did say well over 10 sacks per (and BTW in my first comment I took Orakpo's injury season out of consideration). I also then showed that Matthews is considerably better than Orakpo in about any meaningful way you want to look at it. Any way you choose to look at them every team in the NFL would take Matthews over Orakpo right now.

WisconsinRob's picture

Glad to see we're just gonna keep pushing that $8 million per uear story, despite not knowing any of the actual important details like contract length and guaranteed money.

Dammit, this pisses me off, in a completely unreasonable manner. I get it. Break over,back to your usual bitching.

Lou's picture

Agreed on the "rumor" of $8M although Bob McGinn has the inside track on an organization that prides itself on keeping information internally. If it is true it is hard to believe the offer was turned down but all you have to do is remember two names, Daniel Snyder and Albert Haynesworth.

WisconsinRob's picture

There's a reasonably argument to be made that it wasn't so much McGinn's "inside track" as it was the front office leaking these details (as limited as they are) to sway public opinion on Raji. And, FWIW, given the number of times the "$8M/yr" story has been brought up, it's been effective.

Still ridiculous to me, but I'm done tilting at that windmill. (Gonna totally fight that windmill again down the road)

ray nichkee's picture

Orakpo ain't no where near matthews. If only the guys on defense could stay healthy this conversation would not exist.

HUMP's picture

ok i'll bite,although it would never happen[orakpo]. if you asked 100 packer fans,orakpo 5yrs 50 mil or shields 5yr 50 mil,pretty sure 90% are taking orakpo. orakpo is worth 8 mil yr,shields is worth 6mil yr and raji 4mil yr and that my friends is a scientific fact!!! hehehehe

sum ding wong's picture

As Hilliary says "what difference does it make: Ted aint't picking up any expensive free agents. When will people realize Ted is playing cheap ball and has been for three years now. He prefers the later round picks because they are cheap.

Ma linger's picture

I would not be totally shocked to see Ted and Mike keep most of our free agents. Many are have only been with us three or four years and are still in that development stage!

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