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Is the NFL's franchise tag fair to players?

Darwin Zhou

Papers from arXiv.org

Abstract: There has been a consistent criticism over the past decade of the NFL franchise tag's monetary limitations due to its biased institutions in favor of the team rather than the player. But the question whether the NFL's franchise tag is fair or unfair to players has never been systematically studied. In this paper, I investigate the effects of NFL players' contract extensions when on a franchise tag compared to when they are not and analyze them through statistical and economic lens. Through my research, I find that indeed the current franchise tag designation is unfair to players when it comes to contract extension. I then propose a solution to remedy this unfairness, that is, removing the opportunity to franchise tag players for multiple years, and adding an option for the player to either test free agency but receive zero pay until they settle on a contract (the team can also match the offer) or sign the franchise tag, to provide more flexibility for the player and the team.

Date: 2022-08, Revised 2022-08
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