NFL franchise, transition designation period opens

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Monday signals the start for NFL teams to identify franchise or transition players until the March 3 deadline.

Utilizing a franchise tag effectively restricts a player from entering free agency and pays a salary based on the average of the top five at his respective position.

Dec 1, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branden Albert (76) defends against Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 1, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branden Albert (76) defends against Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs, who franchised left tackle Branden Albert in 2013, are scheduled to enter the March 11 free agency period with 11 unrestricted free agents.

The Chiefs originally had 12, but re-signed long snapper Thomas Gafford to a one-year deal two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, joining Albert as free agents are guards Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwarz, wide receivers Dexter McCluster and Kyle Williams, defensive end Tyson Jackson, linebackers Akeem Jordan and Frank Zombo, and free safeties Husain Abdullah, Quintin Demps and Kendrick Lewis.

Related: Snapshot of Chiefs unrestricted free agents

With a report surfacing last week the Chiefs are expected to let Albert walk, none of the team’s current players set for free agency are likely to command a top salary at his respective position within the franchise format.

And this is especially true when considering the Chiefs’ current salary cap situation.

The Chiefs had $2.5 million in cap space on Jan. 18, according to The Kansas City Star, prior to the Feb. 7 release of cornerback Dunta Robinson, which saved the Chiefs a little more than $3 million.

For a clear picture of average salaries, ArrowheadPride.com published a chart reflecting what it would cost to keep each player during the franchise designation period.

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