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2014 NFL franchise tag numbers projected by CBS Sports

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The NFL's franchise tag period opens today, running through March 3. Between now and then, teams have the option to prevent one player from testing the free agent market by placing the tag on them, giving the player a one-year guaranteed contract. CBS Sports estimated the tag numbers for each position this year.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the most dreaded words among NFL players are "franchise tag," yet that's exactly where we find ourselves today.  Between now and March 3, NFL teams can prevent a player from reaching free agency by using the franchise tag, ensuring they remain with their current club for at least another year, while giving the player a high salary fully guaranteed for the season.

The exact amount of that one-year deal all depends on the player's position.  The numbers for each position is calculated by taking the average of the salary cap number at that position over the past five years.  Then, that average number is divided by the five-year average of the salary cap, to obtain a five-year average percentage of the salary for the franchise tag at easy position.  That percentage is then used to calculate the current year's franchise tag number against the current year's salary cap.

Since the 2014 salary cap has not been set (usually in late February or early March), the exact number for each position's franchise tag is not yet set.  However, CBS Sports' Joel Corry, a former agent, has estimated the franchise tag numbers for each position.  Speaking to NFL front-office executives, Corry reports that the salary cap is expected to be between $125 million and $128 million, with a median of $126.5 million.  Using that median number, he calculated the franchise tags as:

Position 2014 Projected Franchise Tag
Quarterback $16,086,000
Defensive End $12,475,000
Wide Receiver $11,539,000
Cornerback $11,256,000
Offensive Line $11,126,000
Linebacker $10,895,000
Defensive Tackle $9,182,000
Running Back $9,074,000
Safety $8,021,000
Tight End $6,709,000
Punter/Kicker $3,383,000