Thursday starts a two-week window for teams to assign the franchise tag to players. The deadline to use the tag is February 25. (One of my New Year’s resolutions is to stop saying that teams “slapped” the franchise tag on someone.)
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com notes that this period will be especially important for Vince Wilfork and the Patriots. Reiss believes that Wilfork is the Patriots’ top priority at this time and he “wouldn’t be surprised if momentum builds” to a possible extension.
Still, reaching a deal could be a long process. It would be very surprising if a contract was signed before February 25. The Patriots won’t just let Wilfork go, so he’s among the most likely players to get tagged this month.