- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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The topic is a hot one because today marks the beginning of a two-week window to apply the tag, and there will most likely be a handful of teams that choose to do so.
History can't predict whether a specific team will use the franchise tag, as salary-cap situations vary from one offseason to the next, but the Patriots have shown an ability to effectively utilize the tag under Bill Belichick.
Below is a rundown of those tag situations, with a note on the ultimate result for that player.
2002: Kicker Adam Vinatieri. Signed a multiyear extension.
2003: Safety Tebucky Jones. Tagged and then traded to New Orleans for three picks.
2005: Vinatieri. Played on the franchise tag and departed in free agency the next offseason.
2007: Cornerback Asante Samuel. Played on the franchise tag and departed in free agency the next offseason.
2010: Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Signed a multiyear extension.
2011: Guard Logan Mankins. Signed a multiyear extension following a holdout.
2012: Wide receiver Wes Welker. Played on the franchise tag and departed in free agency the next offseason.