NFL sets franchise, transition tags

NFL sets franchise, transition tags
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
NEW YORK (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens will have to pay at least $14.896 million for Joe Flacco to be their quarterback in 2013.

The NFL set the franchise tag at that figure Friday, and if the Ravens can't reach agreement on a long-term deal with Flacco before free agency begins March 12, they could tag him. Flacco played out his five-year rookie contract and led the Ravens to the Super Bowl title. He is negotiating with the team on a new deal after making nearly $6.76 million last season.

Under the franchise tag in 2013, a player is paid according to a formula based on salaries for the past five years at the position and their percentage of the total salary cap. With the non-exclusive tag, his team has the right to match any offer sheet, or get two first-round draft picks in return for allowing him to leave.

Both sides can continue to negotiate on a longer deal even after a franchise tag has been applied.

An exclusive tag ties him to his current team at a higher, but as-yet-undetermined price, for one season.

In a quarterback-driven league, Flacco certainly would draw plenty of interest on the open market.

Already tagged are Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd at $6.916 million, Indianapolis punter Pat McAfee at $2.977 million and Cincinnati defensive end Michael Johnson at $11.175 million.

The other tags for franchise players are $10.854 million for cornerbacks; $10.537 million for wide receivers; $9.828 million for offensive linemen; $9.619 million for linebackers; $8.45 million for defensive tackles; $8.219 million for running backs; and $6.066 million for tight ends.

Transition tags also were set Friday. If a player gets that tag, he is free to negotiate with other teams, and his current club has the right to match any offers. If it doesn't match, the player leaves with no compensation owed.

The transition figures range from $13.068 million at quarterback to $5.194 million for tight ends and $2.7 million for kickers.