Are you ready for some football? No, not games. The beauty of the NFL, though, is that there really is no offseason. Even when games aren’t being played, NFL news dominates the sports cycle. From free agency to the Combine to the draft to minicamps and everything in between, the news never ends in the NFL.
Monday is yet another landmark in the NFL offseason because it marks the beginning of the period for teams to designate one of their free agents as a franchise player by placing the franchise tag on them. Language in the Collective Bargaining Agreements states that “The period for Clubs to designate Franchise Players will begin on the twenty-second day preceding the first day of the new League Year and will end at 4:00 p.m. New York time on the eighth day preceding the first day of the new League Year.” With the new League Year set to commence on March 12, Monday marks the 22nd day before March 12. And the 2-week designation period will expire on March 4, which is obviously 8 days before March 12 (start of the new League Year).
Anyway, it’s franchise tag time. Last year, a record number of players were tagged by their teams – 21. The Vikings were one of the 11 teams that did not use the franchise tag a year ago. Will they use it this year? We don’t know, and only time will tell. If the Vikings do use the franchise tag, who would they use it on? We don’t know that yet, either, but many would agree the most valuable free agent on the Vikings roster is RT Phil Loadholt. As we’ve written in this space previously, re-signing Loadholt is an important offseason priority for the Vikings.
For more on the franchise tag and which teams may use it, check out this piece written by NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal.
Tags: Phil Loadholt
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