Until the players vote to ratify the proposed collective bargaining agreement, the NFL’s teams will operate under the terms of the previous CBA when it comes to the franchise and transition player tags.
That means teams will have the option to use both the franchise and transition tags to prevent select players from hitting the open market once free agency begins on March 18.
Initially, the owners were prepared to operate in good faith under the parameters of the new deal in this area: using the franchise or the transition tag but not both, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports' Mike Jones. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the talks.
NFL player representatives voted 17-14 in favor of the deal Tuesday night, with one player abstaining.
And it seems like there’s a good chance that the majority of the player body will vote in favor of the deal as well. However, that vote will not take place until lawyers have prepared the legal documents laying out the new CBA, and then the documentation is presented to the players to vote on. It’s believed that the full player vote may not happen until late next week.
The deadline for using the franchise or transition tag is March 12.
The owners’ decision to operate under old rules for now could create more pressure on the players to approve the new deal so they have fewer restrictions heading toward free agency.
Follow Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones.
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