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A Quick Word On The Franchise Tag

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 16, 2011 – 4:07 pm

Many of you have raised franchise tag-related questions in response to a couple of blog entries this week. Also, a total of 7 NFL teams have utilized the franchise tag in recent days. So we wanted to have a quick word on the blog about the franchise tag as it relates to the Vikings.

Under the rules of the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement, the franchise tag is a mechanism that prevents a team from losing the player given the tag to free agency. The catch, though, is that in order to apply the franchise tag to a player, the team must also tender that player a 1-year guaranteed contract that pays him a minimum of the average of the 5 largest salaries for players at the position at which he played the most games during the prior year, or 120% of his prior year salary, whichever is greater. There are also other details related to the franchise tag, but we won’t go over them right here.

Prevailing thought is that the Vikings have 2 main candidates for the franchise tag – LB Chad Greenway and WR Sidney Rice. DE Ray Edwards could also be a possibility. All 3 of those players are still relatively young and are coming off their first NFL contracts, which is precisely what makes them possible candidates for the franchise tag.

Earlier in the week, Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman told reporters that the Vikings are still deciding on what to do with the franchise tag.

“We’re going through that process,” Spielman said. “We’ll look at whether we use the franchise tag or not. That’ll be determined here before the deadline. I think you tie that into your whole process, on whether you’re going to utilize that franchise tag or not. Anything from any type of roster moves or franchise tag or anything like that we’ll probably not buckle up here until another week or two.”

So for those of you wondering what the Vikings will do with the franchise tag, you’re still left to wonder. Spielman acknowledged to reporters that he’s excited about the young nucleus of players on the Vikings roster, and using the franchise tag is one mechanism the club can use to keep a piece of that nucleus intact.

“I think there is a good young nucleus on this football team,” Spielman said. “I also think there are some older guys, too, on this football team. We have a lot of unrestricted free agents up; you’d say you’d love to keep them all, but that’s not the reality so we’ll have to make some tough decisions. But I know we’re pretty excited about some of the youth that we do have on this football team and some of the nucleus and core pieces that we do have in place.”


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 34 Comments »


34 Responses to “A Quick Word On The Franchise Tag”

  1. By Carl K on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    Ray Edwards is not worth a franchise tag! Top 5 at his position, I don’t think so.
    Chad Greenway – maybe, but I don’t think so.
    S. Rice – I would apply a transition tag on him. A transition tag guarantees a top 10 average pay at his position (an he will demand alteast that) he can test the free agent market and the Vikings will have the chance to match the best offer. It is a win win situation for both Rice and the Vikings.

    Ham was talking about garbage yesterday… Well garbage is what the Vikings were with out Rice last year. Transition tag him and match what he is offered.

  2. By Shawn on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    I hope we keep all 3 of those guys … i think people are too har’d on R.Edwards but the guy is only 25, which means he will be 1 year older than about 1/3 of the rookies this year and he has 4 years experiance

    But something about him makes me think he thinks hes worth more than he is, he hasnt had a 10 sac’k season yet but he is consistand and young … i hope we keep him

  3. By Parody on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    I agree that Greenway is probably going to be the easiest player to keep without using the tag. I’m conflicted with which way to go with the other two. Rice is more likely to stay if we offer him a realistic contract, but I don’t know that Edwards is worth the price of a tag. But, our DLine is getting really weak with free agency and the possible 4-game suspension of Williams, so that makes for an interesting conundrum. Still, there are good options in free agency if we can’t woo Edwards to stick around, so I’d prefer to give the tag to Rice and let Edwards walk if he doesn’t accept a reasonable offer.

  4. By PurpleNation on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    It is true what Shane said earlier above about Ray Edwards not having a double digit (Sack) season and yet he insists that he’s good enough to be up there with the best of them and get top dollar at that position, but it doesn’t take a genius/football guru to know that Mr. Edwards still needs to prove that he can play as consistent as his ego claims to be and start generating those double digit seasons and he should be golden as everyone knows that actions will “ALWAYS” speak louder then words!

    ~SKOL VIKINGS~

  5. By PurpleNation on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    Some PeepZ are either too slow (In the Head) or just can’t STFU and get her done

  6. By xvike on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry to say but edwards is not worth a tag. I know the vikings will give him a reasonable offer but im sure his intent is to test free agency where some desperate team will pay him what he’s looking for. And i think he is extremely overrated. I mean c’mon, all the blocking is focused on jared allen and the williams wall and edwards has never managed to get a 10+ sack season and he’s looking to get paid big…… I think eventually he will manage to get 10 or more sacks in a season, but i don’t see him as one of the top DE’s in the league, ever. If he’s willing to stay for a reasonable amount, then sure, but if not then am absolutely fine if he leaves.

  7. By gunner on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    Guy’s here is a question to you all;

    There seems to be a lot of free agents this year and that means we could have a complete change on the team, who could you see coming in, who will be leaving and would we spend alot of money on one player that could change our team for the good (Peppers for the Bears)?

  8. By Frederick Jones on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    If anyone gets the franchise tag it’ll be Sidney Rice. Ray Edwards is talented, but is he too much of a nuisance? Robison is a very good player, and would probably start on most teams.

  9. By Frederick Jones on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    I think we need to skip a year on drafting a qb. It’s too important to find those offensive linemen even if we have to draft three this year.

  10. By Frederick Jones on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    The draft is still a cr a aap pp shoot.

  11. By xvike on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    someone tell me why blaine gabbert is considered the top qb in this years draft?? i have to say i’m not all that impressed especially if he’s considered the top qb. i’d rather take a chance with cam newton. they both supposedly can make all the throws even though gabbert didn’t throw many bombs down field, both have strong arms, and are both athletic but newton is by far the better athlete. they also played in the same style offense. not to mention this guy was unheard of until late this year. all u heard about the top qb prospects were guys like luck, newton, locker and mallet. Then luck decided to stay in school and then all of a sudden, gabbert is the new #1 qb in the draft. That makes no sense to me……

  12. By Ham on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    Robison would not start because he’s too small to play against the run, he’s a #3 DE that can come in on 3rd downs or in pass rush situations. He’s no Ray Edwards.

    Draft 3 OL guys?? lol the same 5 guys that took us to the NFC championship had a bad year and you want to replace them all… This is a very weak offensive line class at the top of the draft. They have just as many if not more question marks than the top 3 QB’s.

    Sullivan isn’t going to cut it and Herrera/Hutch aren’t getting any younger but the only position that needs an upgrade now is Center, Sullivan has not been durable, is undersized and tends to get pushed around and he’s not great with making calls. With a bad C your whole line will struggle.

  13. By Brandon on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    Keep Rice And Greenway at all Cost

  14. By Brandon on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    All i Know is that if the Vikings dont keep both Rice and Greenway that would be retared they are both young and explosive players.and everyone thinks that Rice ant worth it because he was only good because of Farve in 09. Then got told he didnt need surgury then finds out that he does, but he still came back and played the few games he could and proved him self that he is a great wide reciver if the vikings just had a QB that can get him the ball

  15. By Ekolu Osorio on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    It would behoove the Vikings to keep both Greenway and Rice. Greenway’s in his prime and Rice brings the ability to hit the deep routes and make the spectacular catches on a regular basis. The negative is has a history of injuries and really cost the Vikings big last year with the hip surgery after camp began instead of having the surgery during the early off season which should be reason to tag him as a transition player for a season. The priority needs to be signing Ap and Greenway asap, and then deal with Rice. It looks like AP will look to signan extension and the Vikes will franchise Greenway. Edwards has provided a stable front for a couple years, but is probably looking to get paid more than hes worth, but hes always talked his game up since we drafted him. The team should also try and retain Robison because of his versatility. And Griffen needs to get his head out of his but, because his window could be opening up in a hurry. This allows the organization to shore up other positions that demand attention.

  16. By wacky on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    i been a viking fan for 35-years, up ontell this year! it don’t madder what they do!! the front office sucks, all of them! they make me sick! look what greenbay did.. now tell me y the viks can’t do that! dum!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. By Laura on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    I say apply it to Sidney Rice! I love him! I missed him last year! He rocks! He will be a big sensation!

  18. By al on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    totaly agree with Ekolu on rice being injury prone and the need is greenway and AP. the vikes either need to sign him for years to come or trade him and get draft picks or a couple of good players. also i agree with ham. the vikes do need a center and a rg would be a nice pick up but the wr core is not that good here witch is causeing alot more 8 men in the box and you can send 5-6 guys when it only takes 4 guys to cover the wrs. another thing i think the vikes should do is get a run blocking te and pull shenco in and out of the game. another need is a good fs or ss.

  19. By Leo on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    The 3 players mentioned should be “restricted” free agents, therefore the Vikings have a chance to match any offer by any other team. This is assuming there is no limiting factors with the CBA expiring. i would suggest using the tag on Longwell. He is unrestricted. It might be cheaper and wiser. Longwell has proven to be productive and consistant..

  20. By Leo on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    Prediction – If the Vikings do not focus and act on improving the offensive line and certainly the QB position – AP will not resign.

  21. By hugooo on Feb 17, 2011 | Reply

    i love this team

  22. By Jake on Feb 18, 2011 | Reply

    If ray edwards cant get it done with Jared Allen drawing double coverage or running back help, I just cant see paying him top dollar to stay. Rice wasnt looking out for the team on his surgery deal, so I say sign him average salary or let him go. He showed nothing special. greenway has had major knee surgury and is mediocre at best!

  23. By Jake on Feb 18, 2011 | Reply

    QB situation..? If you are going to build a qb what about Rhett B. I hope he gets a shot to prove himself. I dont know anything about him, maybe he doesnt have the tools. I think we better spend our picks and money on D-backs!

  24. By jacob on Feb 18, 2011 | Reply

    I think the vikings should try to keep all three players because Chad Greenway is a really good linebacker he has been consistent Edwards and Allen create an intimidation factor that is second to none and they also give the offensive coaches up trying to think of ways to stop them Sidney Rice is a beast when healthy and 2009 was the world seeing just how good he can be If we are to have a chance we need all three players

  25. By Carl Brodin on Feb 20, 2011 | Reply

    Like i said before Let B.Berian ,M.Williams,P.Williams,and i hate to say it but B. Leber also. Trade Mckinnie and get a 2nd & 3rd round pick for him then take one of the second round picks and get a left tackle and have him compete with P. Brown for that position. Then draft a C or G with our 1stR pick. With our other 2ndR pick take a QB the 3rdR try to find a a decent DE. 4THR try to find a S 5thR OG. 6th & 7thR’s best player available or F/A.

  26. By buck on Feb 20, 2011 | Reply

    i think we should keep all 3 of them but i think ray edwards is way underated.

  27. By Joe on Feb 20, 2011 | Reply

    Jake are you mentally ill? Greenway is a pro-bowl player, and is close to an All-Pro! Rice barly played and was great, and Jared Allen didn’t pull double teams all year IF you actually watched the games and not read comments and make suggestions you’d know! The first packers game was a good notion of it. Al Michaels pointed out in the 1st Q that the packers were gonna single him and they did and it worked. Also Rhett Bomar is a TERRIBLE QB and we only had him for depth if someone got hurt. Hes back on the practice. The only thing you got right is that we need some DBs.

  28. By Joe on Feb 20, 2011 | Reply

    Anywho, I think we should tag Rice, sign Greenway, try to get Edwards a contract, and start negotiations with AP asap. Then get the rest of the deals done if possible and get a few good FA’s. Maybe Bob Sanders, or Nnamdi Asmougha, or Champ Bailey if he doesn’t get resigned. Those could be like the Julius Peppers sign, or maybe 2 of thoughs I just mention’d but something in the Secondary, Get a replacement for Ben Leber, hes to slow, maybe Casey Mathews and have a family reunion 2 times a year?

  29. By Justin F on Feb 21, 2011 | Reply

    Bob Sanders is a risk. You’ll get a mixed bag if you decide to sign him. He may be gifted, but his injuries have held him back.

  30. By Jake on Feb 22, 2011 | Reply

    If greenway is so great, why dont the vikes play a 4-3 or 3-4 all the time! cuz the linebacker core sucks! thats why they had the fewest lineup changes from the wonder year before,, and yet teams ran right over them when they wanted to!! they only went to the pass cuz why would you take 5-10 yards at a crack, when you could pass against us for 50-80 yards….. now that greenway has “the tag” we will see what a “force” he is. and by the way he is not pro-bowl material. sorry when the ball hits you in the hands you have to catch it! even at linebacker

  31. By Jake on Feb 22, 2011 | Reply

    but he did come up with a good celebration, the one or two times he did make a play!…. the karate kick! too bad we never saw enough of it to really catch on! we should just freeze the roster and we could be dead last again! another losing season and AP will head to greener pastures.

  32. By Jake on Feb 22, 2011 | Reply

    Rice, like every NFL player, sees themselves as a precious commodity and put themselves before the team. Until they find themselves without a home! example is randy moss, undoubtedly one of the top 5 in the talented recieving core, but, if you are a disruption everywhere you go and its not about the team, you may find yourself watching the tv on sunday. It is a shame to see such a waste of talent.I am sure someone will pick him up, but I dont think they will be playing in january.

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