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: