What LaMarr's acceptance means

The Steelers announced today that LaMarr Woodley has accepted his franchise tender offer. Why is this news?

It's newsworthy because there have been instances in the past where players have resisted the franchise tag, with the typical reaction in those cases being that it inhibits the ability to shop their services as unrestricted free agents. It inhibits, because the player's original team can match any offer he receives to keep him, or accept two No. 1 draft choices as compensation if it declines to match.

Woodley's acceptance of the franchise tender offer means there will be no acrimony between him and the Steelers over the tag. This acceptance means that Woodley will play for the Steelers in 2011 for whatever the one-year franchise tender ends up being – right now that number is determined by averaging the top five salaries of all players at his position. And just as importantly, Woodley's acceptance of the franchise tender offer does not preclude him from coming to agreement on a long-term contract.

There is the chance the union is going to question the validity of the franchise tag and everything it means once the current collective bargaining agreement expires on March 3, and there are no guarantees the franchise tag as it exists after the new CBA is negotiated will be what we understand it to be today.

Still, there are a couple of things for fans to understand from LaMarr Woodley accepting the franchise tender offer:

The Steelers want him, and he wants to be here.

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