It is being reported that the Minnesota Vikings are expected to use the franchise tag on a player within the next week, but the only question remaining is, which player will they designate with the franchise tag. Two key players for the Vikings will be eligible for free agency if and when the free agent process begins this offseason, LB Chad Greenway and WR Sidney Rice.
Several teams are using the franchise tag on potential free agents this week, however it remains to be seen whether or not the use of the franchise designation is going to hold any weight when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is finalized. The franchise tag will hold weight until the date at which the current CBA expires, (March 3rd) and then all bets are off as to what will happen in the future.
On point of contention in the current talks is the point at which a player becomes eligible for free agency. Currently, four years of service qualifies a player, and the owners want to raise the eligibility to five years.