Skip to main content
Advertising | The Official Website of the Chicago Bears


Chalk Talk


Chalk Talk: How does the franchise tag work?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on

I've been hearing a lot about the possibility of the Bears putting a franchise tag on Allen Robinson. Can you please explain how that works?
Robin S.

NFL teams can place one franchise tag or transition tag on a player who is due to become an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year. The player is tendered a one-year contract worth a figure that is calculated in accordance with the CBA based on position or 120 percent of the player's salary from the previous season, whichever is higher. The window to tag a player opened Tuesday and runs through March 9. Players who are tagged can sign a long-term extension with their team through July 15. Otherwise, they must wait until after the season to do so. Players who are tagged have until the Tuesday following the 10th week of the regular season to sign their one-year tender. There are two types of franchise tags: Players who receive an exclusive tag can only negotiate with their current team, while those with a non-exclusive tag can sign with another club, though their original team can match the offer or receive two first-round draft picks as compensation if they choose not to match the deal. Players who receive a transition tag can sign an offer sheet with another team, but their original team has the right to match but would not receive any compensation if opting not to match the offer. The last time the Bears used a tag was in 2018 when they put a transition tag on cornerback Kyle Fuller. The Green Bay Packers signed Fuller to an offer sheet, but the Bears matched it and signed him to a multi-year extension.

How many uniform numbers in Bears history have been worn by only one player?
Ralph G.
Hobart, Indiana

Only two numbers have been worn by just one Bears player: No. 42 by Hall of Fame quarterback Sid Luckman from 1939-50 and No. 56 by Hall of Fame end Bill Hewitt from 1932-36. Both numbers were retired by the Bears and have never been worn by another player.

Have there been any noteworthy players taken in the spot where the Bears will pick in the second round of this year's draft?
Sal T.
Wheaton, Illinois

Since 2012, three players selected with the 52nd pick in the second round that the Bears own this year have been voted to the Pro Bowl. Interestingly, all three have been linebackers: Zach Brown was chosen by the Titans in 2012, Jamie Collins went to the Patriots in 2013 and Deion Jones was picked by the Falcons in 2016. The last offensive player to reach a Pro Bowl after being selected at No. 52 was receiver Greg Jennings, chosen by the Packers in 2006. The last time the Bears picked a player at No. 52 was receiver Bobby Engram in 1995.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

Related Content