My pal Mike Garafolo tracked down the franchise tag numbers, and posted them on his blog at the Star-Ledger Web site. For obvious reasons (see: above), these are pretty relevant to the Patriots.
What do they mean? It's the average of the top five salaries at each position. We'll give the you transition tag (that one's irrelevant) numbers as well, which are average the top 10 salaries at each spot. Here's the rundown:
CORNERBACK: $9.566 million (franchise), $8.056 million (transition)
DEFENSIVE END: $12.398m, $10.193m
DEFENSIVE TACKLE: $7.003m, $6.353m
LINEBACKER: $9.680m, $8.373m
OFFENSIVE LINE: $10.731m, $9.142m
PUNTER/KICKER: $2.814m, $2.629m
QUARTERBACK: $16.405m, $14.546m
RUNNING BACK: $8.156m, $7.151m
SAFETY: $6.455m, $6.011m
TIGHT END: $5.908m, $5.248m
WIDE RECEIVER: $9.521m, $8.651mSo will the Patriots flinch at $7.003 million required to, in essence, end Vince Wilfork's turn at free agency? Fat chance.
New England was willing to tender Asante Samuel at $7.79 million in 2007. That year there was a cap, and it was significantly lower than it was in 2009. Now, there's no cap.
Yup, you know what's next ...