The NFL franchise tags can start being given out from February 17 to March 3 and here’s where the Patriots sit as far as the tag goes:
Most experts say that they have two players that they could possibly give the tag to – One is Aqib Talib and the other Julian Edelman. Neither are likely because of the dollar value set on both positions.
The franchise tag for the wide receiver would estimate to $11.6 million for one year, which seems to rule Edelman out for that option as he’s simply not worth that much. The cornerback position is worth $11.3 million, which is also a high number.
Here are the estimates based on position as released by NFL’s Albert Breer. They are estimates because the NFL has not yet released the salary cap for 2014 yet:
|Defensive end||$12.6 million|
|Wide receiver||$11.6 million|
|Offensive lineman||$11.2 million|
|Defensive tackle||$9.2 million|
|Running back||$9.1 million|
|Tight end||$6.8 million|
|Kicker – Punter||$3.4 million|
The Patriots have a list of free agents that include Ryan Wendell, Dane Fletcher, Brandon Spikes and so on – None of which seem a likely option for the franchise tag.
It is our estimation that the Patriots will forego using the tag this season, unless they use it just to hash out the details of a longer-term contract with Edelman or Talib.
They tried that before with Wes Welker in 2012, but Welker didn’t agree to a long-term deal and played under the tag and it seems like that was the point where he and Belichick started the hard feelings. That being said, I doubt the Patriots will go that route, being burned in the past.