The Jaguars have several pending free agents this offseason, but I do not think it is likely that any of them get the franchise tag. The most likely candidate would be cornerback Derek Cox.
Cox has everything that new head coach Gus Bradley is looking for in a cornerback and he is still in the prime of his career, but he has had a major problem remaining healthy throughout his career. More concerning is the fact that most of Cox’s injuries have been the nagging soft tissue injuries that tend to linger and makes it hard for him to stay on the field for the entire season.
The franchise tag for cornerbacks is going to be in the neighborhood of $10 million this offseason. While a healthy Cox is probably worth the tag, the fact that he has missed 14 games over the past two seasons will probably deter the Jaguars from committing that kind of money to him.
However, four of the six guys who played cornerback for the Jaguars this past season are scheduled to be free agents, so the Jaguars have a massive need at the position. Keeping Cox in the fold would ease that need and may lead the new Jaguars front office to do whatever it takes to keep him.
The Jaguars have other key free agents, but none of them make sense for the franchise tag. Fullback Greg Jones and linebacker Daryl Smith are on the wrong side of 30 while defensive tackle Terrance Knighton lost his starting job to C.J. Mosley last season. Absent the use of the franchise tag it would not be surprising to see all of these guys in a new uniform in 2013.