Around the NFL
Franchise tag deadline coming
Posted Feb. 13 at 09:43 PM
This coming Thursday, February 19th, is the deadline for NFL teams to use the franchise tag on players. Some were tagged early, like Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel; some recently, like Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (franchised yesterday); and some will go right down to the wire. A quick roundup of some of the interesting ones:
Cassel: There appears to be a healthy split among observers over whether the Patriots will keep Cassel this season. I'm assuming that regardless of the negative reports we hear at times, Tom Brady will be fine for the start of the season and the Patriots will deal Cassel well before then. I think a good guideline for what they might get for him is the Matt Schaub deal -- a pair of second-rounders -- at best. Possible landing spots: Kansas City, San Francisco, and one of several NFL North teams, with the Vikings seemingly most likely to make a move.
Jacobs: The Giants want to bring Jacobs back, and unless he starts making noises about a holdout it's not out of the question they'd have him play for the franchise tender. They're not likely to trade him unless the relationship really sours, and we can also say with certainty that Derrick Ward will be available as an unrestricted free agent, and not back with the Giants. Some running back thin team will give Ward solid money -- not crazy money, but good money -- to start and get at least 60 percent of the workload. There are a few teams that might view Ward as an upgrade at starter, including Seattle, Kansas City (if they decide to dump Larry Johnson), and perhaps New England. Another possibility is that a team looks to pair him with their own talented back (with a slightly different skill-set); Houston, for example.
Other possible tagged players: The Bucs need to consider tagging wideout Antonio Bryant; otherwise there's a good chance they'll lose him. If the deadline passes without him being tagged or signed to a long-term deal, he'd be a very appealing player on the market, perhaps to a team like the Eagles or Giants. Or any team in need of a No. 1 wideout that won't command any draft pick compensation. ... There have been reports of the Titans tagging kicker Rob Bironas, which makes sense; reliable kickers are hard to find. Another, less likely possibility is tight end Bo Scaife; Tennessee doesn't have much else at the position and could consider it. Neither player would figure to be more valuable with another team than they are right where they are. ... Another kicker, Detroit's Jason Hanson, is a candidate for the tag. Hanson, coming off one of his best seasons (ironically during Detroit's worst), isn't likely to hit the open market regardless. ... The other most intriguing players who might be tagged are defenders: Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, arguably the best player in the league at his position, was tagged a year ago, and if the Raiders are smart they'll work out a long-term deal or tag him again. In short, they're probably going to screw it up. ... Baltimore's top three linebackers -- Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Bart Scott -- are all free agents. They'll probably tag one of those players, but may be fortunate to bring even two of them back. Their expected turnover at the position, along with the loss of defensive coordinator Rex Ryan to the Jets, is definitely a consideration for those looking at the Ravens defense in fantasy drafts next season.
Add a Comment
Already a registered user? Please sign in to add comments.
To add comments, you must become a registered user of our site. To register, please click here.