Tuesday, February 15, 2011
How franchise moves affect NFC West
By Mike Sando
Quick thoughts on how NFL teams' decisions regarding the franchise tag could affect the most glamorous division:
- San Diego's decision to name receiver Vincent Jackson its franchise player would not prevent an NFC West team -- think St. Louis -- from at least considering a trade. I just find it implausible to think the Rams or another team would part with significant draft capital for the right to pay huge sums to a receiver with off-field concerns. Jackson is probably staying in San Diego for another year.
- Philadelphia's decision to name Michael Vick its franchise player tells backup Kevin Kolb what he already knew. Vick is the main man in Philly heading into the 2011 season. Kolb will draw interest if and when the trade market opens this offseason, but the Eagles would be wise to set the price high. Vick's ability to hold up physically over the course of a season could be an issue. Also, what if Vick's play levels off this coming season? The Eagles have too much riding on their season to sell Kolb at a discount.
- The Eagles put the transition tag on kicker David Akers. Seattle previously used the franchise tag on kicker Olindo Mare. Re-signing a kicker shouldn't be a stressful endeavor. If the Seahawks use a tag on Mare, it's probably just to buy another year.
- New England's decision to name guard Logan Mankins its franchise player should not impact the NFC West very much. The Seahawks can probably find a more affordable alternative at the position, possibly with Oakland's Robert Gallery.
One other franchise move -- the New York Jets' decision to use the tag for linebacker David Harris -- should have little bearing on the NFC West. Harris is looking to get as much or more on a long-term deal as former Arizona Cardinals linebackers Calvin Pace (Jets) and Karlos Dansby (Miami Dolphins) are getting from AFC East teams.