With the current labor situation in the NFL nothing will be normal this offseason and we're starting to find that out. The latest example is the uncertainty surrounding the franchise tag. PFT's Mike Florio does a good job explaining the ins and outs of the current situation but, as ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reported, teams have been told to hold off on using the franchise tag until further notice from the league.
There's some confusing language in the current CBA regarding the use of the franchise in the last year of the labor deal.
We're not sure exactly why someone would hold off on doing that -- as Florio points out, surely it can't hurt -- but I guess the question is whether the franchise tag itself will make it into the next labor deal.
Assuming it does, the Chiefs have, in my view, one candidate for the franchise tag -- Tamba Hali. He is in the final year (months) of his deal right now. Hali's agent told the KC Star during the season the Chiefs wanted to wait until the end of the season to do anything.
The franchise tag was meant for a situation just like the Chiefs and Hali. You work on a long-term deal, franchise the player to buy some more time and negotiate a long-term deal in good faith.
That's assuming the Chiefs plan to bring Hali back. I'm not doubting he's a great player and well-deserving of good money from the Chiefs but you never know what GM Scott Pioli and Co. have in mind for the big picture.