Aug 29, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn (93) defensive back Justin Tryon (30) defensive tackle Linval Joseph (97) and center David Baas (64) take the field against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Should the Giants Pin Franchise Tag on Linval Joseph?

The New York Giants have until March 3rd to designate a player (or not) utilizing their annual Franchise Tag. For those not familiar with the rule, franchised players receive a one-year contract based on the average of top five salaries at their respective position; or a 120% increase in the prior year’s salary. Higher number wins out.

Since the tag was first instituted in 1992, the Giants have exercised the option on just three occasions: Jumbo Elliot in 1993, Brandon Jacobs in 2009 and Steve Weatherford in 2012. In the cases of Jacobs and Weatherford, tagging them simply bought extra time to work out a long-term deal.

Defensive tackle Linval Joseph is the most logical candidate for the Jints to franchise. However, Joseph is likely to command $6-$7 million per year in the open market, and the Giants don’t pay for tackles. So despite his desire to return to New York — a long-term deal doesn’t appear in the cards.  While tagging him for one season at approximately $9 million would make sense, the Giants past history dictates they won’t entertain that route.

Hakeem Nicks would technically fit the bill as a franchise tag candidate, but who wants him back? He doesn’t deserve top-WR dollars, nor does he deserve an extension. Should the Giants hit a wall in negotiations with Jon Beason, the popular linebacker could become an option as well. But again, Beason at top-LB pricing is not a reasonable alternative.

Joseph is the man…or nobody.

Franchise Tag $ projections according to Overthecap.com:

Franchise Tag Projections

Photo Credit: overthecap.com

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