Earlier this week, word broke that Vincent Jackson would receive the franchise tag, Marques Colston might remain a Saint, and Dwayne Bowe was expected to stay a Chief. But it seems the wide receiver pool is starting to fill up again. Yesterday, Drew Brees received the Saints' franchise tag (meaning Colston nor guard Carl Nicks won't), and while Chargers' GM AJ Smith didn't rule out the usage of the franchise tag on Jackson, it looks more and more likely Jackson will reach free agency. Bowe hasn't been tagged just yet, though with Monday being the deadline, that could still happen.
Two other receivers look like they'll be avoiding the tag as well. For more on that, hit the jump.
The Rams to this point haven't used their franchise tag on Brandon Lloyd and according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch "aren't expected to do so" by Monday's deadline. He struggled in Chicago in 2008, yes, two offensive coordinators and a starting quarterback trade ago, and while he might not be a bona fide number one receiver, he's not as bad as 2008 made him look.
The other is Mike Wallace. The Steelers have been making cuts for the last three days and have cleared up about ten million in cap space on a very cap-strapped team. While that does allow them to apply the franchise tag to Wallace (about $9 million), because there's other players that need to be signed as well, the team is applying the highest possible RFA tender instead - about $2.75 million, which would give Pittsburgh a first-round pick as compensation.
What this means is that a team can sign Wallace to an offer sheet that the Steelers would have to match - and if the offer sheet is high enough, especially in the first year, Pittsburgh wouldn't be able to match. I can think of a few teams, the Bears included, that would gladly give up a first-round pick to sign Wallace, but it would take a significantly-front-loaded contract to get it done.
What do you think? Do either of these options intrigue you?