Today was the first day NFL teams could apply the franchise tag to a player of their choosing. Not any were done right away but this is to be expected as teams would prefer to see how free agency falls out before they make any large financial commitments.
So how should the Pack use their franchise tag, if they even choose to do so?
The most probable candidate will be tight end Jermichael Finley. At the beginning of last season, it was surely expected that the Packers would apply the franchise tag once the off-season came around. But after a disappointing year by the young tight end, it has made Packers fans somewhat uncertain as to using the tag on Finley – is he even worth it?
It’s only a one year deal, but it pays the player as being one of the tops at that position. There is an issue with Finley about this though. There has been some speculation that Finley may argue that he is a wide receiver and, therefore, would make double the money if he were to be considered a tight end. To determine this, they will have to review how many times Finley lined up as a wide receiver and compare it to the tight end. This would surely determine if the Packers decide to use the tag on Finley or not. If he is considered a tight end, then the Pack will most likely use the tag on him but if he is considered a wide receiver, then it would be more likely that the Pack decide not to use the tag and may have to let him go.
Obviously Packers fans would be saddened if this should happen but there would still be the chance the Packers could work out a 1 or 2 year deal. This is unlikely, however, and the Pack will be faced with either giving him the tag or letting him walk.
Another scenario the Packers could opt for is franchising quarterback Matt Flynn. This probably will not happen because if they chose to do so, they would be paying Flynn more money than MVP Aaron Rodgers next season. The benefit of doing this would be to get good trade value for someone who is considered by many teams as a franchise quarterback.
Last year the Philadelphia Eagles had Kevin Kolb and ended up trading him to the Arizona Cardinals for lots of picks and valuable players. It would be nice for the Pack to be able to get some nice pieces for Flynn but I just cannot see the Pack doing this.
The most probable scenario will be the Pack either franchising Finley as a tight end or letting him walk and the Packers opting not to use the franchise tag this year.
Though today was the first day teams were able to place the franchise tag on one of their players, the Packers’ crucial decision will still probably be a few weeks away.