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Starting tomorrow at 4pm eastern, all NFL teams will have the ability to place a franchise tag on a soon to be unrestricted free agent. For the Indianapolis Colts, Michael Pittman Jr. is a prime candidate for it.

The last time the Colts used the franchise tag was 2013 on Pat McAfee. Current Colts GM Chris Ballard was in his first season as the Director of Player Personnel for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Types Of Franchise Tags

There are three different types of tags that the Colts and other teams can use are:

  1. Exclusive – Players can no longer negotiate with other teams and are fully controlled by their current team. The player is paid 120% of his previous salary or the average of the top five players at his position, whichever is greater. 
  2. Non-Exclusive – Players are allowed to negotiate with other teams, but their current team has the ability to match any contract offer. If the team does not match, then the team losing the player will receive two first-round picks. This is the tag that Baltimore placed on Lamar Jackson last year.
  3. Transition – The difference between the transition tag and non-exclusive tag is that the team losing the player does not receive any compensation if the player leaves. The biggest part of this tag is that the player is paid the average of the top TEN players at his position if he doesn’t agree to a contract.

How It Impacts Michael Pittman Jr.

The estimated number for a wide receiver that receives the exclusive franchise tag is $20.6M.

It seems very likely that the Colts will end up tagging Pittman Jr. because there just hasn’t been a lot of rumblings surrounding a contract extension. There has been a lot of radio silence regarding the numbers that MPJ wants and what the Colts are willing to offer.

CBS4 and FOX59 Colts beat reporter Mike Chappell joined Query & Company Monday afternoon to weigh in on the likelihood of Pittman hitting the open market.

“It would be an immense surprise. It would be like if it was 90 degrees tomorrow. You have to tag him. Not tagging him would go against everything that Chris Ballard has talked about regarding Pittman’s value. Just listen to Chris Ballard, Pittman is everything they want in a Colt.”

Additionally, James Boyd from The Athletic joined the program to weigh in on Pittman’s future with the Indianapolis Colts.

“They’re going to pay Pittman. Michael Pittman Jr. will be a Colt next season for sure. It would be franchise malpractice to not resign that guy and keep him around long term.” Boyd stated.

From a long-term standpoint, it could impact his career in Indianapolis. If the two sides cannot come together on a contract extension after a season with the franchise tag, then would they tag him for a second season? That’s something that will be talked about at the end of next season if things get to that point.

To listen to Jake Query and Jimmy Cook’s conversation with Mike Chappell and James Boyd, download the podcast containing the conversation below! You can always listen to the Query & Company from 12pm-3pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan. You can also watch and interact with the show by going to the 107.5 The Fan YouTube Channel.

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