New York Jets Elect Not to Use Franchise Tag in 2013, TE Dustin Keller Unlikely to Return to Team
The deadline for NFL teams to tag impending free agents as their franchise player has passed, and the New York Jets are among many teams who have elected not to use their franchise tag rights on any player.
Among the impending free agents for the Jets are both starting offensive guards, Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson, Pro Bowl safety LaRon Landry, defensive lineman Mike DeVito, and starting tight end Dustin Keller.
It’s not too much of a surprise that the Jets declined to use the franchise tag on any of their soon-to-be free agents, as new general manager John Idzik is likely to make sweeping changes in his first season at the helm.
The Jets could use some safety help, and they may try to re-sign Landry in the coming days. Thanks to a clause in his 2012 contract, the Jets were not allowed to use the franchise tag on Landry this offseason.
While I didn’t think the Jets would use the franchise tag, I opined recently that if they did choose to use the franchise tag designation, they should tag Keller with the intent of trading him away for the best possible return.
A reader pointed out to me on Twitter that there’s a big risk in that thinking. What if the trade market for Dustin Keller’s services ends up being as barren and non-existant as the trade market for Tim Tebow?
Idzik and the Jets clearly considered that line of thinking and chose not to take that risk. Keller is now free to test the open market, and while I won’t deal in absolutes, I believe that he’s highly unlikely to return to the Jets.
The first major move in Idzik’s tenure was a wise non-move, the forgoing of the franchise tag.
Next week, the real job begins, as the new league year kicks off and 2013 free agency officially begins.