What is a franchise tag in sports, and why is it such a big deal?

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What is a franchise tag in sports, and why is it such a big deal?

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So in the NFL if the contract on a player runs out they become a free agent and can be signed by any other team. If the team they are on really wants to keep them but the player doesn’t want to stay that team has the option to use the franchise tag. By using the franchise tag that player has to stay on the team they are currently on for another year but they get a big bump in pay, it basically makes them one of the highest paid players in the league. If the team has to use the franchise tag a second or third time the pay just gets higher and higher. It’s a big deal because it forces a player to stay with a team they don’t want to be on.