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Five Most Expensive Franchise Tag Positions: A Fan’s Look
The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to put the franchise tag on wide receiver DeSean Jackson in 2012. If that happens and the team doesn't negotiate a new deal or trade him, the Eagles will have to pay Jackson a salary of about $9.5 million in 2012. The numbers is based on the annual average of the five highest paid players at his position. The franchise tag is a nice way of protecting franchises while ensuring that the player receives a fair paycheck. The receiver position is one of the highest paying franchise spots in the NFL. Here are the positions with the highest annual average for 2012.
Quarterback - $16.1 million
This should come as no surprise since this is the dominant position in the NFL. This number is an increase of almost $2 million from the 2011 number. The Eagles previously used the tag on Michael Vick in 2011 but ended up reaching a long term deal with him. For 2012 the most likely franchise candidate is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. However the Saints are likely to push for a new contract for their superstar.
Defensive End - $10.6 million
This is down more than $2 million from the previous season. Defensive ends are a premium position as NFL teams are fond of building on the lines. Robert Mathis is the most likely candidate to earn the franchise tag. The Indianapolis Colts figure to retain him as they move onto the next era for their franchise. Again, defensive ends are more likely to sign long term extensions.
Cornerback - $10.6 million
This number increased from 2011. This is one of the most important positions on the field. Most top cornerbacks have either been high draft picks or elite free agents. The Eagles nabbed an elite one in 2011 when they signed Nnamdi Asomugha to a deal. The number is likely to climb in future years given the nature of contracts for cornerbacks.
Wide receiver - $9.4 million
Jackson is just one of many wide receivers that are candidates for the franchise tag. Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe, Marques Colston, and Wes Welker are some of the other wide receivers that could wind up receiving this. The franchise tag number is down $2 million from 2011. However, the number will change again depending now these and other receivers sign their deals.
Offensive line - $9.4 million
Again, teams like to build through the lines. Tackles in particular command the highest salaries because of the way they protect the quarterback. Top tier offensive linemen typically avoid the franchise tag because they sign long term deals. It still happens though. The New England Patriots used the tag on Logan Mankins in 2011.
* - Mark Paul is a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Follow him on Twitter here.
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