Way back on February 16th, before the Steelers released half their roster, PFT previewed franchise tag season.
With just a couple days to go before Monday’s deadline to apply the tag, I wanted to take a look back at where things stand. The initial projection had 19 tags applied, a record number.
Now it looks like we could hit 20 or more. Here’s what was predicted, and what has happened since.
Well, that section went pretty well. Finley signed a long-term deal, but none of these players are going anywhere.
We said on February 16 the next 11 players were tough calls, but ultimately would get the franchise tag. Here’s what we think now.
10. Matt Prater, Broncos kicker. (Not a lot of news here, but Prater is still a good bet for the tag.)
13. Wes Welker, Patriots wide receiver. (Welker is still viewed as likely to get the tag.)
16. Stevie Johnson, Bills wide receiver. (There have been conflicting reports on Johnson. This remains up in the air.)
17. Josh Scobee, Jaguars kicker. (Scobee remains a strong candidate for the tag.)
We’ll probably get three or four wrong in that section.
The Near Misses
These were the players we predicted would not get the tag after some consideration.
1. Arian Foster, Texans running back. (Foster remains likely to get the highest tender as a restricted free agent.)
4. Michael Bush, Raiders running back. (The Raiders chose to tag someone else. More on that soon.)
5. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs wide receiver. (Now we expect Bowe to get the franchise tag.)
7. Paul Soliai, Dolphins nose tackle. (Soliai is not expected to get tagged.)
8. Vincent Jackson, Chargers wide receiver. (Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith could still pull a surprise, but we’ll stick with our prediction.)
The Stanford Routt signing changed the dynamics in Kansas City, but otherwise these predictions look good.
The Guys we missed
We overlooked these players in our first primer.
1. Tyvon Branch, Raiders safety. (In our defense, we did say Branch was a better candidate for the tag than Michael Bush. We should have given G.M. Reggie McKenzie more credit. Branch has been tagged.)