PITTSBURGH — If the Steelers want to really play hard ball with Alan Faneca, they could keep him for at least one more year by slapping the “franchise player” tag on him.
Kevin Colbert, the Steelers’ director of football operations, said Monday that franchising Faneca, the seven-time Pro Bowl guard who’s eligible for unrestricted free agency, isn’t probable. But it’s nonetheless an option the Steelers can exercise if they chose to do so.
“The franchise tag is always at our disposal,” Colbert said. “Traditionally, we do not use the franchise tag, because, as an organization, we want to have players that want to be part of our organization. But we will never say we’ll never use the franchise tag because it’s a collective bargaining tool that’s at our disposal.”
All NFL teams are allowed to designate one franchise player.
An “exclusive” franchise player, who would not be free to sign with another team, is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries at that player's position, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year's salary, whichever is greater.
This past season, Faneca’s base salary was only $4.375 million, a $1 million roster bonus included.
If the Steelers would tag Faneca as a franchise player, he would receive a one-year contract worth roughly $9 million. Last year’s franchise tag salary for an offensive lineman was $9.5 million.
I am trying to think when the last time the STEELERS used the franchise tag on a player, was it Gildon If they are unsure about being able to replace him, they should go this route