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WhoDat!656 02-17-2012 04:36 PM

Saints/Falcons to use franchise tags
Starting Monday, teams can begin using franchise tags. They can use that tactic to protect a potential free agent any time between then and the March 5 deadline.

This could come into play for two NFC South teams -- the Saints and Falcons. Iím not seeing anyone on the list of free agents for the Bucs and Panthers that would make sense to use a franchise tag on.

But Iím seeing several possibilities each for the Falcons and Saints. Letís start with the Saints because thatís where the biggest names are.

Quarterback Drew Brees, guard Carl Nicks and receiver Marques Colston all are potential free agents. A lot of people are speculating the Saints will use the tag on Brees.

But I donít see that happening. I think the priority here is to get a long-term deal done with Brees. Using the franchise tag is often a last resort when contract negotiations arenít going well. Getting stuck with the franchise tag often angers a player that is seeking long-term security and the last thing the Saints want is an angry Brees.

Besides, estimates say the franchise tag cost for a quarterback will be a little more than $16 million. If the Saints structure Breesí deal somewhat similar to the most recent contracts signed by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, they can get his cap figure for this year to somewhere around $14 million. That would give them a little extra cap room to work with as they try to keep Nicks and Colston.

Plus, thereís one other problem with putting the franchise tag on Brees. It wouldnít completely protect him. Another team could attempt to sign him to a monster deal, but it would cost that team two first-round draft picks. Teams have been hesitant to do that in recent years because the cost is so steep. But this is Brees weíre talking about. I donít think many teams would hesitate to cough up two first-round picks for Brees.

I think the only logical thing here is for the Saints to get Brees locked up for the long term. Once they do that, they can resort to the franchise tag if they canít get a long-term deal done with Nicks or Colston.

Franchise tag for Saints, Falcons? - NFC South Blog - ESPN

|Mitch| 02-17-2012 05:09 PM

Yeah I see Drew getting his long-term, Nicks getting tagged and Colston being the odd-man, walks...

FinSaint 02-17-2012 05:18 PM

As usual for the NFC South Blog, the comments are worth more in laughs than the article itself is in content.

SaintPauly 02-18-2012 12:17 AM

Two first round picks???? Brees is worth at least 20! Sign the man, and lets get own with it!

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