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Monday, February 18, 2013
Giants franchise tag options

By Ohm Youngmisuk

Starting today, NFL teams can designate franchise player tags.

The New York Giants don't often use their franchise tag. In fact, the Giants are one of seven teams that have only used their franchise player designation three times or less on offense, defense or special teams since the system began in 1993, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

The Giants have used it twice on offense and once on special teams. They've utilized their franchise tag on tackle Jumbo Elliott (1993), running back Brandon Jacobs (2009) and last year on Steve Weatherford. The Giants used the tag on Jacobs and Weatherford in an effort to later reach a long-term deal.

So, considering that the Giants don't use their franchise tags much at all, it's possible Jerry Reese could opt not to use it this year. And if he does, he might use it with the same intention as he did with Jacobs and Weatherford.

Tackle Will Beatty is likely the leading franchise-tag candidate if the Giants opted to use it. Beatty, a free agent, is considered to be the Giants' priority in free agency. The projected non-exclusive franchise player tag for an offensive lineman is $9.66 million.

Some other free agents the Giants would like to re-sign are tight end Martellus Bennett and left guard Kevin Boothe. The non-exclusive franchise tag for tight ends is projected to be $5.96 million.

It's hard envisioning the Giants using their franchise tag on a tight end, though, considering how they have repeatedly plugged in different players at that position from Kevin Boss to Jake Ballard to Bennett.

Safety Kenny Phillips is another free agent, but my guess is the Giants will not use the franchise tag on Phillips. The tag for safeties is projected to be $6.79 million. And with Antrel Rolle making $7 million in base salary this season and the Giants planning to keep restricted free agent Stevie Brown, Reese probably won't invest that much more money in the safety position.

Remember, the Giants still likely have to clear more cap space to sign free agents, extend the contracts of RFA Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and sign their own draft picks.

Tell us if you think the Giants should use their franchise tag and on who, if so.