The deadline to place franchise or transition tags on players is today at 4:00 PM EST and the Miami Dolphins have two players who might be considered for it - tight end Charles Clay and defensive tackle Jared Odrick. To get a better idea of whether or not the team will actually use it, let's look at the details and numbers that would be in play.
If a player is given the franchise tag, the team and the player have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term contract. If no deal is done by then, they are required to pay that player the average of the top five salaries at the player's position for one year. If a player is given an exclusive tag, they cannot negotiate with other teams. If a player is given the non-exclusive tag, they can negotiate with other team but if their current team allows them to sign with the other team, his previous club is compensated with two first-round draft picks.
If a player is given the transition tag, they are paid the average of the top ten salaries at a player's position or 120% of the value of his 2014 salary, whichever is higher. Players with the transition tag can negotiate with other clubs but their original team does not receive draft pick compensation if they don't match the offer from outside team. While the salary is less, the risk is greater as a whole new box of problems are opened when a team is trying to steal a player from another.
If the team places the franchise tag on Clay, they will need to be prepared to pay him $8.3 million. This number comes courtesy of NFL.com. That is, of course, a high number but if the Dolphins truly value Clay and his contributions to the team, they might not hesitate to apply the tag and hope to work out a long-term deal by July 15. Negotiations are said to be going well at this time but both sides are cautiously optimistic. If there is a hold up, the team may decide to apply the tag.
If the team places the franchise tag on Odrick, they will need to be prepared to pay him $11.2 million this season. That is a considerable amount, especially because it is rumored that the Dolphins don't want to pay him more than $6 million per season. This conversation likely stopped once the salary number was reported so Odrick is out of the conversation.
With all that in mind, I would be surprised if the Dolphins put the franchise tag on Clay but stranger things have happened. We'll see how it plays out throughout the day today.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs