The (disen-)Franchised Four


The above pictures should illustrate the feeling that the four guys above had when the Patriots franchised them. Or maybe they don’t.

To be fair, the only real firestorm that followed any of these “Taggings” came in Asante Samuel’s case, which led to a sit-out (remember, it wasn’t a holdout, since he wasn’t under contract) of training camp. Tebucky Jones and Matt Cassel were traded quickly. And Adam Vinatieri — the only guy to be tagged twice by New England — handled it pretty quietly.

With Vince Wilfork poised to become the fifth member of this group, our guy Chris Gasper reviewed the previous examples of New England using the franchise tag over on his Web page. Here’s what he found ….

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.

— 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.

— 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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