While most kids love a good game of tag, NFL players generally do not.
Being slapped with a franchise tag gives a would-be free agent a one-year salary among the highest-paid players at his position. But it doesn't bring the long term contract and huge up-front guarantee that most players – and their agents – are looking for.
Tuesday at 4 p.m. is the deadline for teams across the NFL to utilize their franchise tags for 2019. As of yet the Patriots have not used either the franchise tag or its less-lucrative cousin, the transition tag. Top candidates for the tags from a New England perspective would be defensive end Trey Flowers, tackle Trent Brown or kick Stephen Gostkowski.
The Boston Herald writes about the franchise tag deadline looming for the Patriots and their class of impending free agents. The Herald also has former Ohio State players talking about playing for former Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, who's reportedly joining the Patriots staff this offseason. The Herald declares that one of the Patriots goals in the draft should be staying tough up front on defense.
The Boston Globe's weekly notes look at what's going on in Pittsburgh, while offering up some other leftovers from the Combine. The Globe writes that Josh Rosen rumors just won't die down. The Globe notes a report that Trey Flowers had surgery to "clean up" his shoulder.
The Providence Journal's breakdown of the Patriots roster by position says things look solid at cornerback.
ESPNBoston.com's Sunday notes lead off with the possibility that Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge "is under consideration to be an addition on offense" for the New England coaching staff. ESPNBoston.com was the first to have the Flowers' shoulder surgery story.
ESPN predicts how active each NFL team will be in free agency, which officially kicks off on March 13.
WEEI.com has some final NFL Combine thoughts, including why the Patriots may look to trade up in the first round. WEEI.com notes that while everyone tries to be like Tom Brady, NC State's Ryan Finley "basically is." WEEI.com's Sunday notes have an interesting thought on why a recent cross-country flight shared by Brady and Robert Kraft might be a big deal. WEEI.com passes on word that four teams are interested in tight end Dwayne Allen, who was released by New England on Monday. WEEI.com has Brady making an interesting comment on a Rob Gronkowski social media post.
NBC Sports Boston writes that other teams using franchise tags on defensive ends has "Flowers about to get paid." NBC Sports Boston notes that the draft class's lack of elite depth might just help out the Patriots. NBC Sports Boston thinks how much help Gronkowski gets will factor into the tight end's decision to return in 2019. NBC Sports Boston passes along Ohio State defensive end – and possible No. 1 overall pick – Nick Bosa explaining what Schiano will bring to New England. NBC Sports Boston also has former Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett offering up his Super Bowl LI ring for sale online. NBC Sports Boston has another mock draft -- warning that it's in an annoying slide show so you'll have to click quite a bit to get to the Patriots pick at No. 32.
NFL.com offers up 12 stats that will define this year's NFL draft.
NFL.com has New England's left tackle Brown on its list of eight players who could be overpriced in free agency. "Brown avoided the injury problems, weight issues and work-ethic concerns that plagued him in San Francisco, but all those red flags remain part of his profile. The Giants probably regret paying Tom Brady's last left tackle, Nate Solder, huge money in free agency a year ago, and Brown is not as strong a player."
NFL.com offers up an All-Combine team from the work in Indy last week.
NESN.com wonders if Brown is as good as gone in free agency after a strong first season in New England.
MassLive.com writes that Flowers' price keeps climbing as free agency nears.
CBS Boston offers up a list of nearly all the draft prospects who have met with the Patriots in the pre-daft process to date.