One of the most contentious issues in the NFL these days is the franchise tag designation. The rule essentially allows an NFL team to prevent a player from hitting free agency by “tagging” him and keeping him for a season at an elevated salary. Now, the NBA has apparently proposed its version of a franchise tag to the players’ union.
Sports Illustrated is reporting that the league presented a franchise tag idea to the players, but it wouldn’t work like the NFL’s version. Under this provision, a team could designate one player for “preferential contractual treatment,” which would mean more money and possibly more years on a contract. A player would also have to agree to the designation.
This type of deal would actually seem to benefit both parties. It would essentially work as an incentive for a player to remain with one team, rather than a barrier to free agency. Franchises would have the security to build around certain players, while players would have a financial incentive to stay with a team for longer.
While it seems like a win-win scenario for everyone involved, the NBA and players are still in the very early stages of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. That means a measure like this could be completely changed or even scrapped by the time a deal is made.
Still, it’s an interesting idea that could go a long way to stop All-Stars from bouncing around the league.