The Seattle Seahawks announced that they have placed the team's franchise tag on kicker Olindo Mare in anticipation of Thursday deadline to use the tag.
According to this year's franchise tag for kickers, Mare was tendered a one-year contract worth $2.814 million, and the two sides can continue negotiating on a longer term deal.
The franchise tag dictates that Seattle pay Mare a minimum of the average salary of the top five kickers in the National Football League, or a 20 percent salary increase, whichever is greater.
Mare earned $1.5 million in the final year of a two-year deal last season.
Seattle used the franchise tag on Mare because the price tag would have been too steep to use on other unrestricted free agents like WR Nate Burleson or DL Cory Redding.
Mare was one of the few bright spots for Seattle last season, finishing the season by making a franchise-record 21 straight field goals after missing two out of six kicks in a 25-19 loss to Chicago early in the season, in which former Seahawks head coach Jim Mora called his performance unacceptable.
Mare remains free to negotiate with any other team, but Seattle can match any offer or receive two first-round draft choices if they decide not to match.
"We are excited to assure Olindo remains with the team," team general manager John Schneider said in the team's release. "It is important to have continuity in the kicking game."
Mare finished 2009 24-of-26 (.923, 3rd NFL) on field goals, and is 48-of-53 on field goal attempts in his two seasons in Seattle. Mare also had 100 points (6th NFC), ranked 5th in the NFL with 22 touchbacks.