More on Doug Free and the Cowboys’ decision not to franchise tag him

Yesterday I wrote that the Cowboys were foolish not to use the franchise tag on LT Doug Free, as their only good, young, proven offensive lineman is going to be exposed to the rest of the league if reports that 4th year players with expired contracts are able to test the free agent waters are indeed true.  In response to that piece, I received a few questions about whether or not the league would think about giving teams a second chance to use the franchise tag on players that were originally given restricted free agent tenders (under last offseason’s rules).

The simple answer – Don’t count on it.

The deadline to franchise players was February 25th, and the Cowboys knew full well at that time that there was a very good chance those tenders would be meaningless in the new CBA, as did every other NFL franchise.  By my count, there were a whopping 10 NFL teams that used their franchise tag on players that would have been eligible for a restricted free agent tender, listed here:

Player Yrs in NFL Team
David Harris 4 Jets
LaMarr Woodley 4 Steelers
Ryan Kalil 4 Panthers
Paul Soliai 4 Dolphins
Tamba Hali 5 Chiefs
Kamerion Wimbley 5 Raiders
Chad Greenway 5 Vikings
Marcedes Lewis 5 Jaguars
Vincent Jackson 6 Chargers
Logan Mankins 6 Patriots

Jerry Jones is going to have to live with his gamble.


  1. Anders says:

    Jimmy you know how this effect the Eagles and Vick? I know he singed the tender, but if that is changed or dont exist in the new deal would Vick still be singed?

    1. Franchise tags reportedly will still be part of the new CBA. Regardless, Vick is already signed for a little less than $16 mil this season.

      1. Anders says:

        thx 🙂 I wasnt sure how the contract for franchise tags works

  2. theWolf says:

    Does anyone know where I could take a gander at all the players who were restricted free agents and now become unrestricted?

    Oh and Jimmy, do you have any interest in writting a post about who you think the bEast teams should go after once free agency hits, since there are going to be thousands of awesome UFAs now?

    1. Yup, started with the QB’s yesterday. RB’s hopefully tonight, if not, tomorrow morning.

      1. theWolf says:

        Oh yeah. I’m an idiot.

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