Barring some sort of court challenge by the players’ union – and it would likely be fruitless -- NFL teams will be able to use the franchise and/or transition tags.
There has been some discrepancy on whether the tags could be used this year and applied to the 2011 season, mostly from the union side.
But NFL senior vice president and general counsel Peter Rucco, who is one of the league’s in-house CBA wonks, said today that the league has told teams they can apply the tags in a 14-day window beginning Feb. 10.
“The CBA hasn’t expired and the CBA has the right to franchise players so we are telling clubs that you have the right to franchise players and then depending on what the new agreement says, that will take into account,” Rucco said. “Neither party is proposing to get rid of the franchise tag. But as far as we’re concerned, clubs have the right to tag players, the agreement continues with the same terms and conditions that it has been; it isn’t expiring until March 4 and the window to franchise players is 14 days. From our standpoint, you have every right to franchise players.”