A franchise player is an exceptionally talented player that a team generally wants to keep on the roster for long periods of time. The term "franchise player" is used to denote a player that has the ability to change the course of a game and help a franchise consistently win more games. Many quarterbacks are often labeled franchise players due to the importance of the quarterback position. Teams often have trouble succeeding in the long run without a talented quarterback that is equipped with strong decision-making skills.
Since franchise players are extremely valuable to their respective teams, they often command higher salaries than players that are considered moderately talented and replaceable. Whereas the average NFL player makes approximately 2.7 million dollars per year, franchise players tend to make anywhere from 20-35 million dollars per year.
|Player (Position)||Team||Average Annual Salary|
|Russell Wilson (quarterback)||Seattle Seahawks||$35 million|
|Aaron Rodgers (quarterback)||Green Bay Packers||$33.5 million|
|Drew Brees (quarterback)||New Orleans Saints||$25 million|
|Tom Brady (quarterback)||New England Patriots||$22.5 million|
|Khalil Mack (defensive end)||Chicago Bears||$23.5 million|
|Aaron Donald (defensive tackle)||Los Angeles Rams||$22.5 million|
|Von Miller (outside linebacker)||Denver Broncos||$19 million|
|Odell Beckham Jr. (wide receiver)||Cleveland Browns||$18 million|
While teams would ideally like to sign franchise players to a long-term contract to ensure the player will be on the roster for years to come, some teams face financial constraints and are forced to "franchise tag" star players as a result. Franchising tagging a player allows the team to retain that player for an additional year until a long-term agreement can be reached. The player is compensated accordingly for not being able to sign a long-term deal with another team, as the team exercising the franchise tag is required to pay the player the average of the top five salaries of other players at the same position. Teams are allowed only one franchise tag each offseason, which is why the tag tends to be used on a star player.