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Tuesday marks the first day NFL teams can use the franchise tag on players

Tuesday is an important date on the NFL calendar, with teams allowed to start placing the franchise and transition tags on players.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The National Football League new league year is just a few short weeks away, and Tuesday February 23rd marks an important date on the calendar. Tuesday marks the date when franchises are permitted to place the franchise tag on players for the 2021 season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have used the franchise tag a lot in the past decade. Twice on Le’Veon Bell and the most recent recipient of the franchise tag was Bud Dupree. Would the Steelers entertain the thought of franchising another player in 2021? The numbers just don’t add up when you look at how much players are owed, and how little the Steelers have in salary cap space remaining.

What are the similarities, and differences, between a franchise and transition tag? NFL.com explains just that below:

Franchise tag: A one-year, guaranteed contract offer that prevents a player from hitting unrestricted free agency. The salary is based on the five-year average cap percentage for the tag at each position, stemming from the top five salaries at each position.

Transition tag: Also a one-year, guaranteed contract based on the five-year average cap percentage for the tag at each position, but the transition tag stems from the top 10 — not top five — salaries at each position, so it’s a bit cheaper. Most importantly, this tag allows players to sign offer sheets with other teams, but the original club has five days to match.

With this being an important date, what other dates should you know moving forward? Here is a list of key dates/events leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • February 23: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players
  • March 9: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
  • March 15-17: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2020 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 17.
  • March 17: The 2021 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
  • April 5: Clubs with new head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
  • April 19: Start of offseason workouts for teams with incumbent coaches.
  • April 23: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.
  • April 29-May 1: 2021 NFL Draft, Cleveland, Ohio

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.