For some NFL players, the franchise and transition tags that teams use to put off free agency or long-term deals can be a hassle.
Though the tags are usually high-dollar, guaranteed payments, they’re only one-year deals, and they restrict a player’s choice to play for the team he wants.
Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon was given the transition tag last week before the NFL’s free agency window opened. The transition tag for defensive ends is a guaranteed one-year, $12.7 million deal.
However, after the Dolphins signed defensive end Mario Williams, they pulled the transition tag from Vernon, thus making him a free agent.
This apparently pleased Vernon’s agent, David Canter of DEC Management, who tweeted shortly after news broke:
Though perhaps not the best execution, the link leads to a meme of Mel Gibson in “Braveheart” yelling “Freedom” in the film’s final scene.
Now open to sign a deal wherever he wants, Vernon figures to see a much bigger payday:
Dolphins have pulled the transition tag on LB/DE on Olivier Vernon, per source. Now a free agent. Will command big dollars.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2016
According to Schefter, by pulling the tag, the Dolphins will get a compensatory draft pick from Vernon’s next team. They wouldn’t have gotten one with Vernon on the transition tag.
It appears the move makes all sides happy. The Dolphins have a replacement and a future draft pick coming, while Vernon is free to sign for another team while getting a bigger, longer contract. That benefits Canter, too.
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