Karlos Dansby will be the Arizona Cardinals franchise player for the second straight season.
The linebacker failed to reach a long-term agreement with the team by Wednesday's deadline, meaning he will keep the franchise tag for the coming season.
That means he will earn the average salary of the top five paid players at his position, about $9.7 million.
"I'm kind of disappointed we couldn't come to an agreement," Dansby told The Associated Press. "The Cardinals had a business decision to make and they made it and we'll have to live with it."
Dansby says he's optimistic he will reach a long-term agreement with the Cardinals down the road.
"I think the Cardinals want me here, I want to be here," Dansby said.
Another big-play linebacker, Terrell Suggs, signed a six-year, $63 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens, with $38 million guaranteed. The deal makes him the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history.
Dansby led the Cardinals in tackles last season as the team made its unexpected run to the Super Bowl. He said he's ready to show up and go to work when the Cardinals report to training camp in Flagstaff on July 29.
"It's football. This is what I do. This is my job," Dansby said. "They have me for one season and I'm going to go out and do what I do, and that's play football."
Arizona general manager Rod Graves did not return a message left on his cell phone.
Graves had said that Dansby was the team's target after the Cardinals reached agreement with safety Adrian Wilson on five-year, $39 million contract _ with $18.5 million guaranteed.
Third on the team's list for contracts is wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who asked to be traded after failing to get a new contract a year ago. However, Boldin has two years remaining on his contract. The Pro Bowl wide receiver sat out minicamp with what he said was a groin injury and did not participate in the team's voluntary workouts over the summer.
Another player who had been disgruntled over his contract situation, defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, has said that after meeting with team officials he is ready to show up and go to work in training camp.