Monday, February 17, 2014
Franchise/transition tags: Colts
By Mike Wells
NFL teams can begin franchise tagging players on Monday. Only eight players received the franchise tag from their teams last year. Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee was one of those eight players. The Colts used the franchise tag to pay him $2.977 million last season.
Cornerback Vontae Davis and safety Antoine Bethea are two players the Colts could potentially use their tag on this year.
I’d say it’s a long shot, though, based on the amount of money paid out to cornerbacks and safeties by teams using the franchise tag last season.
The franchise-tag number for cornerbacks last season was $10.8 million; it was $6.9 million for safeties.
Davis has the talent to become one of the top cornerbacks in the league, but he didn’t show enough last season to make a jump from the $1.86 million he made to likely more than $10 million once the tag numbers for 2014 are set.
The tag number for safeties might hover around the $7 million mark again, and if that’s the case, it would be only a slight increase in pay for Bethea, who made $5.75 million last season.
Putting the franchise tag on Bethea would hurt him because he’ll be 30 years old in July, and there might not be too many more opportunities for him to sign a multiyear contract.
"It’s my first time really testing the market, so [I am] kind of excited," Bethea said in January. "Want to finish my career here, but if not, hey, got to go on and start a new chapter in my career."
Here is an explanation of the franchise-tag guidelines.