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Franchise

Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  February 11, 2010 01:28 PM

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...As in franchise tag. The Patriots history with the franchise tag doesn't bode well for Vince Wilfork, if the Patriots indeed place it on him. The Patriots have used the tag fives times since Bill Belichick became Patriots coach in 2000.

Only on one of those occasions -- Adam Vinatieri in 2002 -- did the team and the franchised player reach agreement on a long term contract. Here are the others:

2003 -- Safety Tebucky Jones was franchised and later traded to the New Orleans Saints for a package of draft picks that became Corey Dillon, Tully Banta-Cain and Dexter Reid.

2005 -- Vinatieri signed a $2.5 million franchise tender, played out the season and then signed with the Colts in the off-season.

2007 -- Asante Samuel refused to sign his $7.79 million franchise tender until the team included provisions -- the team winning 12 or more games or Samuel playing 60 percent of the defensive snaps -- that prevented him from being franchised again. Both provisions were met and Samuel signed a six-year, $57 million deal with Philly.

2008 -- Matt Cassel was franchised at a cost of $14.65 million and later traded to Kansas City along with Mike Vrabel for a second-round pick the Patriots used to select Pat Chung.

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The word

Christopher L. Gasper riffs on the news

Dearth

...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.

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