The NFL has designated between Thursday and Feb. 24 as a time teams can utilize the franchise tag. However, the NFLPA is disputing that plan because there is no CBA agreed upon for the 2011 season.
So, there is a chance it will be a moot point in the end. Assuming teams will use the franchise tag, here is a look at what each AFC West team may do with one key player:
Player: Cornerback Champ Bailey
Do I think Denver will put the franchise tag on him? I don’t see it happening. Bailey has even joked if he was given the franchise tag, he’d happily take it. I don’t think Bailey, 32, will get a contract near the franchise tag rate.
Player: Linebacker Tamba Hali
Do I think Kansas City will put the franchise tag on him? I think Hali will be given the franchise tag if the two sides don’t give him a long-term extension. Hali is a cornerstone player and I don’t see the Chiefs letting him go.
Player: Defensive lineman Richard Seymour
Do I think Oakland will put the franchise tag on him? I can easily see Oakland giving Seymour the franchise tag for the second straight year if he isn’t given a long-term deal. Oakland gave up the No. 17 pick in the trade to New England to acquire Seymour in 2009, so it will not allow him to walk. But he will be pricey to give the franchise tag, costing nearly $15 million a year. That’s a ton to pay a player who’ll turn 32 during the season.
Player: Receiver Vincent Jackson
Do I think San Diego will put the franchise tag on him? This will be one of the more interesting decisions in the NFL this offseason. Jackson held out for much of the season because he wasn't given a long-term deal. San Diego has been reluctant to give him that deal, but it also realizes how important he is and it could be tempted to place the franchise tag on him. Even though he wants a long-term deal, I wouldn’t expect Jackson to balk at the getting the franchise tag because it will be at a high number and he does enjoy being in San Diego, so this could be a workable compromise for both sides in 2011.