For those of you who don't know, the new CBA has changed the way the franchise tag works. Josh broke it down like a high-priced lawyer in an earlier post, but basically what he meant is for the team to use the exclusive free agent tender on a player, they need to drop a sweaty wad of cash in that player's hand.
There are 27 Bengals free agents, 20 of which are unrestricted, heading into the offseason and the team will undoubtedly try to re-sign some of them. Some of the players that they will try to re-sign will include Mike Nugent, Reggie Nelson, Manny Lawson, Pat Sims and a few more.
It's doubtful, at least to me, that the team uses the franchise tag on any of these guys, but just in case, let's look at what they would have to spend on certain players.
2012 Franchise Tag Value*
2011 Franchise Tag Value
So let's say they feel like they may need to apply the tag to Reggie Nelson to keep him around. In 2011, Nelson made $957,500, so a jump from slightly less than $1 million to $6.2 million for one year would be massive and way too much.
How about Manny Lawson? In 2011, he made $3 million on a one-year contract. Again, a jump from a one-year, $3 million to a one-year, $8.8 million is way too much. Not going to happen.
Then there's Pat Sims. The jump from the $555,000 that Sims made in 2011 is $8.8 million. That's one hell of a pay increase and even though I like Sims, he's not worth it. So that's a no.
Some of you may be worried about the team losing Anthony Collins, but he also made $555,000 in 2011 and the $8.8 million pay raise for a one-year contract if the team used the tag on him would be way too much of a price to pay to keep him around.
So after looking through all of the free agents that the Bengals stand to lose, there isn't one of them that is worth the money that a franchise tag would guarantee them. If they were forced to use the tag, I would say they should use it on kicker Mike Nugent (and of course we don't have the number for kickers), but I don't even think that will happen.
But it's not important what I think. What do you think?