NFL Rumors: Will the Minnesota Vikings Use Their Franchise Tag?

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the time of year when the term ‘franchise tag’ starts to get thrown around. Who will get franchised? The Minnesota Vikings are one team in the evaluation process to determine if they have anyone in need of a tag. The Vikings will have a total of ten unrestricted free agents eligible to be tagged by the deadline of March 4th.

For those unfamiliar with the specifics of the franchise tag, here’s a brief description: FAs to be are eligible for the tag, which essentially keeps them with the team for at least one more year. Their salary is determined by the average salary of the top-five paid players at that position, or 120% of the player’s previous year’s salary – whichever is greater.

Long story short – it has to be a player worth the money. So do the Vikings have anybody worth tagging in 2013?

There are really only two candidates – FB  Jerome Felton and RT Phil Loadholt.

In 2012, Felton made $750,000, while Loadholt earned around $900,000. Obviously, both are due substantial raises after very good campaigns last year. Felton is now an All-Pro, and Loadholt proved himself as a very good run-blocker for Adrian Peterson.

However, it’s unlikely either player gets tagged. The average top-five salary for fullbacks is around $2.4 million, and for tackles it’s around $9.6 million. Felton may be worth the 2.4 mil, but Loadholt definitely won’t get anywhere near the 9.6 mil.

I think the Vikings will be able to come to an agreement with both players. It just doesn’t make financial sense to use the tag. Felton wants to stay in Minnesota, and AP wants him to stay in Minnesota, so I’m sure they’ll be able to work out a deal. Loadholt is not worth nearly 10 mil a year, and he has to know that. Hopefully, his asking price won’t be too high, and the two sides can come to a fair agreement.

 

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