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What Should The Seahawks Do With Their Franchise Tag?

Photo credit: Rod Mar/Seahawks.com

Before we address this question, let’s answer another question: What exactly is the franchise tag?

In short, the franchise tag is giving a soon to be free agent a one-year contract. The catch is that if a team wants to do this, that one-year contract’s value would have to be the average salary of the top-5 players of the player’s position group.

For example, let’s say the Seahawks want to apply the franchise tag on soon to be free agent running back Marshawn Lynch. Because the average salary of the top-5 running backs is currently $7.7 Million, Lynch’s new contract would be worth $7.7 Million over one year. Pretty simple, right?

Each team can only use the tag once a year, so general manager John Schneider will have to use it wisely.

Find out my franchise tag canidates after the jump!

The first candidate is obviously Marshawn Lynch. Here’s why: DeAngelo Williams recently signed a five-year deal to remain in Carolina worth a total of $43 million. Lynch is well within his rights to argue for a long-term contract as you could say that he’s been more productive than Williams.

The problem for Marshawn is that the Seahawks could take advantage of this fact:

Like I said earlier, the franchise-tag cost for a running back is expected to be about $7.7 million, according to a report from the league’s own Web site. That’s down from $9.6 million in 2011 and $8.2 million in 2010.

Why would the Seahawks give Lynch a contract that’s worth somewhere around $43 Million for 5 years when they could hand him a 1-year deal worth $7.7 Million? While Lynch may not like it, it obviously makes sense for the Seahawks financially.

Another candidate is Red Bryant. If he received the franchise tag, Red would receive $10.6 Million over one year. That kind of money would be insane for a guy who generally only plays on first and second down.

With that fact in mind, I can almost guarantee you if Bryant were to stay (which I believe he will) it would be on a long-term contract. He was said he “wants” to stay in Seattle, so expect something like the 5-year, $33 Million contract akin to the one that the Giants gave Justin Tuck at the end of the 2008 with lots of incentives involving pro bowl selections, sack totals, etc.

Applying the tag to tight end John Carlson is an in interesting idea. With starting tight end Zach Miller already locked up for the next four years and with Carlson just coming off an injury, I doubt the Seahawks would want to give him a long-term deal. Would giving the fourth year man $5.4 Million over one year be worth it? I don’t think so.

I had the thought that maybe linebackers David Hawthrone or Leroy Hill would be good candidates for the tag, but after realizing that would require $8.8 Million, I shot down that idea.

What about fullback Michael Robinson? $7.7 Million over a year? NO.

What do you think? I think the Seahawks should apply their franchise tag to Lynch, but how about you? Leave your answers in the comment section below.

2012 Franchise tag values for each position:

QB: $14.4 million in 2012; down from $16.1 million in 2011

RB: $7.7 million in 2012; down from $9.6 million in 2011

WR: $9.4 million in 2012; down from 11.4 million in 2011

TE: $5.4 million in 2012; down from $7.3 million in 2011

OL: $9.4 million in 2012; down from $10.1 million in 2011

DE: $10.6 million in 2012; down from $13 million in 2011

DT: $7.9 million in 2012; down from $12.5 million in 2011

LB: $8.8 million in 2012; down from $10.1 million in 2011

CB: $10.6 million in 2012; down from $13.5 million in 2011

S: $6.2 million in 2012; down from $8.8 million in 2011
 
 - Nathan Parsons (@nathanparsons98

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