If long terms deals are not worked out for some potential free agent defensive tackles, it’s almost certain that they’ll be tagged with the franchise label prior to Feb. 25.
That’s the deadline for NFL clubs to make use of the franchise tag, and according to NFL.com’s Jason LaCanfora, four of the top six players most expect to get tagged sans a long term deal are DTs. With the franchise tag just a shade over $7M for DTs, it’s not surprising that NFL teams are willing to go that route to protect one of the more important parts of their defense.
The four defensive tackles expected to be franchised if no long term deal can be reached are New England’s Vince Wilfork, Pittsburgh’s Casey Hampton, San Fran’s Aubrayo Franklin and Green Bay’s Ryan Pickett.
Not surprisingly, all four play in 3-4 systems and those teams know that quality NTs don’t grow on trees. The other two players expected to be franchised are New Orleans S Darren Sharper and Oakland DL Richard Seymour.
The Bills are in need of a true nose tackle as they make the transition to the 3-4 defense, but it doesn’t appear that making a play for any of the above NTs will be an option.
Tags: Aubrayo Franklin, Casey Hampton, franchise tag, NFL free agency, Ryan Pickett, Vince Wilfork
Posted in Inside the Bills