All 32 NFL teams who have chosen to exercise the option have now placed their franchise tag on their player. In some cases it has to do with wanting to keep that player and negotiate a contract and in other cases it is more for leverage with no true intentions of keeping the player long term. In this week's NFL Quick snaps Zues and Thayse take on the most pertinent of fantasy focused players to receive their team's tag. Let's dissect:
1. Drew Brees is quoted as "LIVID" for getting hit with the franchise tag. Reports have claimed they are as far as $5million apart on contract negotiations. What does the future hold for the new all time leading passer?
Zeus- The future is obvious. Drew Brees IS the New Orleans Saints. They are playing a game of chess, that is all contract negotiations are. "Drew wants $22 million", "The Saints want to pay him $17 million". They will strike a deal before training camp at around $20 million case closed. They will not risk a holdout from the player that gave their franchise relevance and jeopardize a chance at a Super Bowl run over the next few years.
Thayse- I want to play Devil's Advocate and throw something at you. Could Drew Brees be questioning if New Orleans is where he wants to continue his legacy? Yes he loves the fans and his team used to be built around him. Now we are seeing significant changes to the make up of this organization. They had two years to show him the money and have played possum. On top of this you have" bountygate", the inevitable loss of some quality receivers, and a possible disruption in coaching and upper management, pending the league's punishment. What could this all lead up to come July? Maybe he is using this contract discrepancy as the scapegoat to find his way out? Just saying…
2. Wes Welker got the tag in New England and will now likely be paid at least $10 million in 2012. With a major knee injury in his past and climbing the age ladder, do you feel this was a smart move by the Patriots and what are their intentions?
Zeus- I believe that this was yet another strategic move by the Patriots organization. This will buy time for the Pats to negotiate a 3-4 year deal with Welker. He is entering his age 31 season and has plenty left in the tank. The guy is a reception magnet. Expect him to have near 100 catches in 2012. This tag will not last very long as Wes opens up quite a bit for the two talented young TEs in New England.
Thayse- I have a hard time disagreeing with your position Zeus. I will, however, throw out one area of interest. Why such a focus on other receivers? They tried to bring in Ocho and he did not pan out. Branch is not the Super Bowl MVP he once was and yet WR is an area they will continue to try and strengthen. The Hoodie is known for trading veterans at just the right time and I somewhat wonder what the cards hold for Welker when he could bring great value after this year.
Zeus- To tell you the truth, I see Forte being that guy before Rice. Both are fantastic football players, but Forte strikes me as the guy who may lay off a bit. Ray Rice seems to be that blue collar guy who will be hungry no matter what the circumstance.
Thayse- Rice is definitely a stud and will be long term. Forte is a stud too, but I question his production more on the fact of whether or not he is the focal point of that offense in a new system and with potentially a stronger receiving core in a division that requires them to score points.
4. Fred Davis broke out last year and was one of the rare highlights of the Redskins offense leaving us thinking, "Chris Cooley Who?" He got the tag, now we will see what they plan to do with it. Could Fred Davis be one of the next great TEs in an already growing pool of mismatch giants?
Zeus- I personally love Fred Davis. The guy is a beast and has the physicality to be ranked in the top 6-7 TE's in the game. He creates separation, and gives the Skins a big bodied target to open up the passing game. Quarterback could be a concern for me, but he produced last year until he was suspended. My prediction: he shapes up and has a great year. I am not talking Gronk numbers, but he is a very serviceable threat that can catch the ball and make things happen with his feet. His potential is through the roof in his upcoming years.
Thayse- I don't know at this point if sleeper fits the description, but the top studs at tight end will go early in a lot of drafts. If you have to watch those big names go without the position to grab them, hold out and take Fred. I have to believe there will be an upgrade no matter what at the quarterback position and I think Davis will reap the benefits and be more consistent in 2012.