But the Baltimore Ravens no longer need worry about it because Joe Flacco agreed to a new deal with them on Friday.
The NFL set the franchise tag at that figure earlier in the day. Then the Ravens prevented the Super Bowl MVP from reaching free agency beginning March 12 when, according to a person with knowledge of the contract, they reached a new deal with Flacco.
Flacco played out his five-year rookie contract, making $6.76 million, and led the Ravens to the Super Bowl title.
Terms of Flacco's new agreement were not immediately available.
The person with knowledge of the deal spoke on condition of anonymity because nothing has been announced officially.
Under the franchise tag in 2013, a player is paid according to a formula based on salaries for the past five years at the position and their percentage of the total salary cap.
With the non-exclusive tag, his team has the right to match any offer sheet, or get two first-round draft picks in return for allowing him to leave.
Both sides can continue to negotiate on a longer deal even after a franchise tag has been applied.
An exclusive tag ties him to his current team at a higher, but as-yet-undetermined price, for one season.
In a quarterback-driven league, Flacco certainly would draw plenty of interest on the open market.
Already tagged are Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd at $6.916 million, Indianapolis punter Pat McAfee at $2.
The other tags for franchise players are $10.854 million for cornerbacks; $10.537 million for wide receivers; $9.828 million for offensive linemen; $9.619 million for linebackers; $8.45 million for defensive tackles; $8.219 million for running backs; and $6.066 million for tight ends.
Transition tags also were set Friday. If a player gets that tag, he is free to negotiate with other teams, and his current club has the right to match any offers. If it doesn't match, the player leaves with no compensation owed.
The transition figures range from $13.068 million at quarterback to $5.194 million for tight ends and $2.7 million for kickers.