Beginning Monday, the Minnesota Vikings will have until March 3 to slap the franchise tag on any of their players with expiring contracts. With defensive end Jared Allen set to hit free-agency next month, the big question is whether the Vikings will apply the franchise tag to him.
Experts throughout NFL circles are in agreement that Minnesota will not franchise Allen.
The soon-to-be 32-year-old defensive end finished last season with 11 1/2 sacks for his seventh consecutive double-digit sack season. His career might be Hall of Fame-worthy, but his franchise tag value this year is $20,236,753 – far more than Minnesota would dream of paying, according to CBS Sports.
Doing so would simply crush Minnesota's salary cap situation. The Daily Norseman says the Vikings' have approximately $23 million in cap space.
ESPN's Ben Goessling believes there's an outside chance Minnesota will use the franchise tag on defensive end Everson Griffen, but believes a contract extension is more likely. Goessling adds that it's more likely Allen leaves Minnesota to sign with a contender.
NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal projects 10 teams will use the franchise tag, and the Vikings aren't one of them. The NFL saw only eight players receive the tag last year.