NFL context with 'tag' talk

February, 15, 2010
2/15/10
12:45
PM ET
With quite a bit of chatter surrounding the Patriots, nose tackle Vince Wilfork, and the possible assigning of the franchise tag, this piece from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette caught the eye from an NFL context point of view.

In short, Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert identified three of his own players as priorities to re-sign. On Friday, he said the Steelers wouldn't start negotiating with them for about one week, meaning the earliest they would talk is Feb. 19. Based on the way those talks go, Colbert said the Steelers would then consider the possibility of assigning either the franchise or transition tag as a vehicle to retain the players by the Feb. 25 deadline.

This was interesting to me, because it created a small window to strike a deal.

It then led me back to the Patriots and Wilfork.

More than anything, it was a reminder that a potential contract can come together quickly. This isn't the type of situation where weeks are needed to hammer something out if both sides are motivated and committed to the process.

That is one reason why it wouldn't surprise me if momentum builds for the Patriots and Wilfork to strike a deal.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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