Chiefs franchise tag: Decision day is here, Dwayne Bowe or Branden Albert

Otto Greule Jr

The deadline to use the franchise tag comes at 3:00 p.m. (Arrowhead Time) today. Will the Chiefs use it? We're almost sure they will. The popular prediction has them tagging Dwayne Bowe, which means Branden Albert would not get tagged.

It's here. It's finally here. The franchise tag deadline day. It's not as big as free agency on March 12 but this is still a significant day for the future of the Kansas City Chiefs, who will more than likely use the franchise tag on Dwayne Bowe or Branden Albert. We don't know yet who it'll be but most are predicting Bowe will get the tag.

See the poll results: Would you tag Bowe or Albert?

Bowe was hit with the franchise tag last year. Because of that, he will require at least a 120 percent raise on his 2012 salary, according to the NFL's franchise tag rules. The wide receiver tag is $10.5 million but because Bowe was tagged last year he'll be at $11.4 million this year. Albert would cost roughly $9.8 million. So the cost difference the between the two isn't that large.

Lately I've taken on the position that Bowe, and not Albert, should get the franchise tag. Bowe is one of the top receivers on the market and the Chiefs can assure themselves they'll have Bowe by using the tag. They're also reportedly working on a longterm deal with Bowe's camp. The difference between Bowe and Albert this year is that there are more reasonable options at left tackle than there are at receiver. Guys like Jake Long will be on the open market and then the Chiefs will of course have the No. 1 pick where they'll have their choice of the top left tackles -- if they need it. So from that standpoint, Bowe makes the most sense for the tag.

The last time we did one of these polls, 57 percent of readers said they would choose Albert for the tag. 42 percent said they would choose Bowe. See the full results here.

Bowe, and not Albert, should get the tag.

But keep this in mind: just because one of these guys gets tagged doesn't mean the other can't sign a longterm deal. They can. There's likely to be a lot of BS being thrown around by agents or anonymous sources close to the team as we get closer to free agency.

With that, I leave you with the top five reasons to tag either Bowe or Albert. Also: please vote in the poll below.

The top five reasons to franchise Albert:

1. Using the No. 1 overall pick to replace a lineman you just lost in free agency is the most boring use of a first round pick ever.

2. Alex Smith cost the Chiefs two high picks so he should probably be protected.

3. The Chiefs investment in the offensive line -- Jon Asamoah (third round pick), Rodney Hudson (second round pick), Jeff Allen (second round pick) and Eric Winston (four years, $22 million) -- is way too high to throw out a second-rate offensive lineman.

4. Locking Albert up makes it easier to trade the No. 1 pick.

5. Practice what you preach and re-sign your own.

The top five reasons to franchise Bowe:

1. Jon Baldwin

2. Dexter McCluster

3. Terrance Copper

4. Jamar Newsome

5. Josh Bellamy


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