Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Indianapolis Colts [Print without images]

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
A look at possible '15 franchise tag players

By Mike Wells

As you know, the Indianapolis Colts wisely did not use their franchise tag on any of their players by Monday's 4 p.m. deadline.

Cornerback Vontae Davis is still a priority for the Colts to re-sign.

Looking ahead to 2015, linebacker Jerrell Freeman and offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo will be the Colts’ two primary free agents. They're the only two players currently on the roster who I could see Indianapolis using the franchise tag on next year if it can’t agree on a new deal with them.

Re-signing both players isn’t even a question. It’s a necessity.

Castonzo teamed with fellow tackle Gosder Cherilus to have an impressive season blocking on the edges and helping cut down on the number of times quarterback Andrew Luck was sacked (41 in 2012, 32 in 2013). Right and left tackle isn't an issue for the Colts, it's the interior part of the offensive line that's the problem.

Freeman has made an easy transition to the NFL from the Canadian Football League. He has led the Colts in tackles each of the past two seasons with 145 and 126, respectively.

Castonzo is scheduled to make $2.5 million next season and Freeman will make $576,000. The franchise tag for an offensive lineman this year was $11.6 million. It was $11.4 million for linebackers.