NFL CBA Series: Transition Tag
The Transition Tender is very similar to the Franchise Tender. In any given year, a team can use either the Transition Tag or Franchise Tag on one upcoming free agent. The Transition Tag is also available to all teams in the final League Year of the current CBA. The period of designation is the same as that for the Franchise Tender. (Art. 10, Sec. 3, (a), 47).
Transition Tenders can be withdrawn at any time but are fully guaranteed for skill, cap and injury once it is signed with the same exception—maintaining peek physical condition—as the Franchise Tender (Sec. 4, (a-c), 47-48).
Players with this tag are free to negotiate with other teams from the first day of the League Year until July 22. After this date, the player is only eligible to sign with his previous team. If he has not signed before the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season, he is no longer eligible to play in the NFL for the remainder of the League Year, and his prior team will retain the same right to place the Transition Tag on such player (Sec. 14, (a-c), 51).
However, the Transition Tender does not contain the same rights as the Franchise Player. The team is granted the Right of First Refusal regarding any contract a player may sign with another team, but there is no draft pick compensation if the team declines to match the offer (Sec. 3, (b) 47).
The required tender for the Transition Tender is a one-year contract worth the higher of the cap percentage (same calculation) of the 10 greatest Prior Year Salaries at the player’s position or 120% of his own Prior Year Salary (Sec. 4, (a), 47). If a player receives the latter, all of the terms of his prior Player Contract to the tender (Sec. 11, 50).
Since the tenders became guaranteed in recent collective bargaining, it seems that the Transition Tag has gone the way of the double-wing offense. They are hardly ever utilized, and a tag has not been used since Pittsburgh used the designation on offensive tackle Max Starks in 2008.