Teams will have the ability to start placing franchise tags on players on Monday. Here’s a look at the projected price of each tag:
Running back: $7.7M
Wide receiver: $9.4M
Tight end: $5.4M
Offensive line: $9.4M
Defensive end: $10.6M
Defensive tackle: $7.9M
And here’s a look at who might get the tag in each city…
Atlanta Falcons: Two key defenders are scheduled to become free agents. They’ll likely tag Brent Grimes if they can’t get a deal done, but I highly doubt they place the tag on Curtis Lofton, regardless of what happens with negotiations.
Arizona Cardinals: If they can’t reach a long-term deal with Calais Campbell, he’ll be slapped with the tag. If not, don’t expect anyone to get it in Glendale.
Baltimore Ravens: Little progress has been made in talks with Ray Rice, so he’s almost certain to be tagged.
Buffalo Bills: Stevie Johnson is the strongest possibility, but the two sides have begun negotiating something long term.
Carolina Panthers: It’s not likely they use the tag.
Chicago Bears: It seems like the Matt Forte tag has been inevitable here since last summer.
Cincinnati Bengals: If it’s anyone, it’ll be kicker Mike Nugent.
Cleveland Browns: Top linebacker D’Qwell Jackson is a possibility, but there’s an expectation that he’ll be signed long term before the tag is used.
Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Spencer is the man to watch, but he isn’t worth the financial risk at this point. They’d be better off pursuing pass-rushing help in free agency and the draft.
Denver Broncos: Kicker Matt Prater is the strongest possibility.
Detroit Lions: Cliff Avril is playing hardball, which is a concern when you consider how tight the Lions are against the cap. I have a feeling they won’t tag him, simply because they can’t afford it and might not be confident that they can come to terms at a later point. Given the demand for pass rushers right now, Avril will be an intriguing free agent.
Green Bay Packers: Center Scott Wells is a possibility, but Jermichael Finley makes more sense and is the top candidate.
Houston Texans: I don’t buy into the notion that they might tag Arian Foster because I doubt anyone’s going to part with a first-round pick to steal the restricted free agent away. Still, his agent has said that he wouldn’t be offended by the rather inexpensive tag. It’s doubtful they spend big bucks on a tag for Mario Williams.
Indianapolis Colts: If it’s anybody, it’ll be Robert Mathis.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Another kicker? Watch for Josh Scobee.
Kansas City Chiefs: Both Brandon Carr and Dwayne Bowe are slated to become free agents, so one will get the tag. Beat man Bob Gretz thinks they retain both, but it’s not clear which guy they’ll tag and which one they’ll gamble with. I’d bet Carr gets tagged.
Miami Dolphins: I doubt they give the tag to Paul Soliai again, so it might go to nobody.
Minnesota Vikings: No real strong candidates here.
New England Patriots: It is widely believed that Wes Welker will be tagged as his agent and the team still work on ironing something out.
New Orleans Saints: Using the tag on Drew Brees is a last resort, but it’ll absolutely happen if the two sides don’t come to terms on an extension by the March 5 deadline. With Carl Nicks and Marques Colston also slated for free agency, it would really help if they could get Brees under contract first.
New York Giants: Don’t expect them to tag anyone.
New York Jets: If they have to, they might use it on Sione Pouha.
Oakland Raiders: Michael Bush is a possibility.
Philadelphia Eagles: They’re probably going to tag DeSean Jackson. The question then becomes whether they keep him, trade him or sign him up long term.
Pittsburgh Steelers: There’s a remote possibility they use it on restricted free agent-to-be Mike Wallace, but the smart money’s on them not utilizing the tag at all.
San Diego Chargers: Tagging Vincent Jackson again would cost nearly $14 million. And considering how much trouble they’ve had coming to terms with Jackson in the past, that would be a very risky proposition. I’m betting they let him walk.
San Francisco 49ers: It’ll either be Dashon Goldson or Carlos Rogers, but there’s a chance they don’t use it at all.
Seattle Seahawks: Marshawn Lynch could become the third running back to receive the tag, which is weird because only two backs have been slapped with it over the last five years.
St. Louis Rams: Won’t be used here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Or here.
Tennessee Titans: There’s a chance they slap it on Cortland Finnegan, but there’s an even stronger chance Finnegan hits the open market.
Washington Redskins: All signs point to tight end Fred Davis.