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Franchise Tag Restricts the Chiefs Chances at Top Tier Free Agents

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Over the past couple of weeks we've discussed who might get slapped with the franchise tag and what that would mean for the Chiefs. With the deadline to utilize the franchise tag quickly approaching (3:00 PM CST), the franchise tag ripple effects have already been felt in Kansas City.

Many of us in Kansas City hoped the Chiefs would get a shot at signing at least one of the top tier defensive players on the free agent market.  However, the franchise tag has been applied to a couple of the biggest names: Karlos Dansby and Terrell Suggs (and Julius Peppers?).

So now we must focus our attention on who will likely be available come March 1st, the start of the new league year and of free agency. The following players appear poised to become free agents and could help the Chiefs:

Bart Scott (LB)

  • 28-years old
  • Missed 3 games in his career
  • 1 Pro Bowl selection

Prediction: An interesting possibility, but competition for his services will be fierce considering he might be the most sought after linebacker in free agency this year.

Ray Lewis (LB)

  • 33 years old
  • 10 time Pro Bowler
  • Coming off a 7-year, $50 million contract and still expects top tier money

Prediction: Not a chance he lands in Kansas City because of money and age restrictions.

Albert Haynesworth (DT)

  • 27-years old
  • Apparently basing his search on money, location and wins
  • Could be the highest paid defensive player in the game
  • Extensive injury history
  • Largely non-existent career prior to his 2007 contract year

Prediction: Not a chance he comes to Kansas City. There is way too much money involved for a player that has only put up great numbers in contract years.

Chris Canty (DE)

  • 26-years old
  • Played in the Cowboys 3-4
  • Drafted by Bill Parcells (Pioli/Haley connection)
  • Rumored to be interested in going to the Dolphins
  • Agent floated the idea that he's worth "Tommy Kelly money"

Prediction: Canty should get some sniffs but many of the rumors now center around him re-joining Bill Parcells in Miami.

Channing Crowder (LB)

  • 25-years old
  • Will likely be the cheapest option on this list
  • Appears Parcells won't retain him in Miami
  • Experience in a 3-4 defense
  • Minor durability issues and experts say he's not a playmaker

Prediction: Crowder appears to be the type of player the Chiefs should be targeting. A second tier free agent coming off of his first contract. Ultimately, I don't think we'll sign him (Why is Parcells not retaining him? Remember, this is a Parcells' influenced team).

From some reading around the web today, it looks like a deal between the New Orleans Saints and Jonathan Vilma is likely to happen. However, a deal hasn't been completed yet so Vilma fans can continue to hold their breath.

Also, with Jordan Gross signed, the Carolina Panthers told Julius Peppers that they will assign him the franchise tag. So mark him off the list.

Click over to see a list of the franchise/transition tag numbers along with who has been slapped with the tag so far.

Position Franchise Tag Transition Tag
Quarterback $14.65 $12.44
Cornerback $9.96 $8.37
Wide Receiver $9.88 $8.39
Defensive End $8.99 $7.78
Offensive Line $8.45 $7.74
Linebacker $8.3 $7.48
Running Back $6.62 $5.92
Safety $6.34 $5.13
Defensive Tackle $6.06 $5.45
Tight End $4.46 $4.07
Punter/Kicker $2.48 $2.26

Players who have been tagged:

  • Arizona Cardinals:  Linebacker Karlos Dansby
  • Atlanta Falcons:  Punter Michael Koenen
  • Baltimore Ravens:  Linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs
  • Cincinnati Bengals: Kicker Shayne Graham
  • Houston Texans:  Cornerback Dunta Robinson
  • New England Patriots:  Matt Cassel
  • New York Giants:  Running back Brandon Jacobs
  • [Update] Pittsburgh Steelers: Left tackle Max Starks
  • San Diego Chargers: Running back Darren Sproles
  • St. Louis Rams:  Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe
  • Seattle Seahawks:  Linebacker Leroy Hill
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Receiver Antonio Bryant
  • Tennessee Titans: Tight end Bo Scaife


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