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Samsonite Make Your Case: Who to Tag?
With 18 players scheduled to hit free agency when the new league year begins March 12, the Patriots have three players in particular who are the most likely candidates to receive the tag: wide receiver Wes Welker, cornerback Aqib Talib, and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer. Of course, the team could also elect to tag someone else, or no one at all.
But what should the Patriots do with their 2013 franchise tag?
Read the arguments from the Patriots Football Weekly writers, then cast your vote in our Samsonite Make Your Case poll.
Erik Scalavino says
The same can't be said for the other two. Vollmer and Talib have had injury concerns that limited their availability this past season, and in Vollmer's case, his health has always been a cause for concern.
Talib was a nice addition to the team in 2012, but he can hardly be called a game-changer. Tagging him would mean investing many millions of dollars ($10.6 million for cornerbacks this year) in a player who, while solid, is hardly worth that amount. But being at the top of a relatively weak cornerback free agent class, he'll likely get that money from some team desperate for a corner. I just don't see the Patriots being that team.
Vollmer is just too risky, too, to invest so large a sum in, either ($9.6 million), even for just a year, in my estimation. Welker is as safe a bet as you'll find in the NFL these days. He's earned his keep, he's played the good soldier, he deserves to be back here for at least one more season. In fact, it would be nice if the team and Welker could come to terms on a long-term contract before this gets too far down the road. I could see a scenario in which the tag is applied to Welker, but just to buy time for a negotiation on a three-to-four-year contract (with an option for the team to duck out earlier).
That, to me, makes the most sense for this year's franchise tag.
Andy Hart says
So, sign Welker, tag Talib and let Vollmer test the market. Sounds like the perfect plan to me!
Now it's the fans turn to cast their vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question