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NFL franchise tags: Arizona Cardinals among teams to use it most

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This year looks unlikely, but the Cards have been active over the years in keeping key players.

Norm Hall

Team in the NFL now are able to use the franchise tag to keep a free agent player with the team one more year, while at the same time making him one of the highest paid players at his position. This year, with no high profile free agents, it does not appear that the Arizona Cardinals will use the tag on any player. Historically, though, they have been a team that has used the franchise tag a lot.

The franchise tag first began in 1993 as a means to protect both teams and players. A team could keep an important player longer, but would have to pay him guaranteed top dollar. Players, though, do not usually like the tag, as they want to get a long-term deal with more guaranteed money and security.

Since 1993, the Cardinals have used the tag nine time, the second highest number among NFL team. Only the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks have used it more, with 10. The Cardinals have used it eight times for a defensive player and once for an offensive player.

I tried to see if I could find all the franchise tags used by Arizona. I know the one offensive player was receiver Rob Moore in 1999.

The defensive players include Calais Campbell last year, Karlos Dansby twice, Simeon Rice in 2000, Aeneas Williams in 2001, Kwamie Lassiter in 2002...and that is all I could find.

Part of the reason why the Cardinals have used it so much is the fact that they have had many good players want to leave because of how the team was run. Other times it was as a negotiating tool, buying both parties more time to come to a deal.

Either way, it does not look like it will happen this year.

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