Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
Today at 1:00 pm PST, (Monday, March 4th) the deadline for NFL teams to slap a franchise tag on players they're negotiating with will have come and gone. Seattle currently has seven unrestricted free agents - DT Alan Branch, LB Leroy Hill, DE/DT Jason Jones, TE Cameron Morrah, OL Frank Omiyale, CB Marcus Trufant, and K Steven Hauschka. With the defensive end franchise tag cost hovering around $11M for a one-year rental and the defensive tackle number at around $8M, it seems unlikely at best that either Branch or Jones will be getting that call from their agent today.
The only player that could, in logic, be seeing the Seahawks' franchise tag is Steven Hauschka, but there hasn't been much in the form of rumors about that so I'm kind of assuming at this point that that option isn't going to happen. If tagged, Hauschka would receive $3M for his services this year. Last year, he was paid $1.26M. Does Seattle think he's worth it? We'll find out.
Thus far, as of 7:17am PST, only five players around the NFL have received the franchise tag - the Bills' Jairus Byrd, Bengals' Michael Johnson, Colts' Pat McAfee, Broncos' Ryan Clady, and the Bears' Henry Melton. The rumor is that the Titans will tag TE Jared Cook, but his camp is planning on fighting for the tag as a WR, not TE, and the difference there is $4.5M or so. With Cook being split out away from the formation on over 50% of his snaps, there's a possibility the Titans may ultimately decide not to invite this possibility and just let him hit the open market.
Other players to watch today include the Dolphins' Randy Starks, Chiefs' WR Dwayne Bowe, Texans' S Quinton Groves, and Patriots T Sebastien Vollmer. According to Adam Schefter, Patriots' WR Wes Welker, Dolphins' OT Jake Long, Raiders' P Shane Lechler, 49ers' S Dashon Goldson, and Jets' TE Dustin Keller are not expected to be tagged. That means they'll all hit the market, most likely, unless they can come to some sort of quick agreement with their current teams.