With the Denver Broncos having secured another Super Bowl win, it is time to get an NFL fix from the roster building of the off-season. If you follow the NBA odds, you will have seen the drama surrounding players like Lebron James leaving their teams. The NFL has the franchise tag to limit those situations. With it, a team may tag a free agent and stop them from signing to another team for a year while negotiations continue. With some high profile players out of contract this year, we took a look at the players teams should use their one tag on.
Von Miller, Denver Broncos Outside Linebacker
The Broncos want to keep their Super Bowl winning team together as well as they can, and Miller is one of the best on their roster. He has been one of the top edge defenders in the league every single year he has played, even during the year he missed 17 weeks of the season with an ACL injury.
Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets Defensive End
This would be a strategic move, as tagging Wilkerson and negotiating with other players would save the team money to spend elsewhere in the cap. Putting a tag on Wilkerson leaves the option of taking him back open while they wait to see if his injuries will heal sufficiently.
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears Wide Receiver
Franchise tags were made for people like Jeffery, likely to be in high demand as an elite free agent. The Bears still need him more than anyone else to shore up the weakness they have in the wide receiver slot. An extra year could give the side the boost they need to get rookie Kevin White ready to take over.
Olivier Vernon, Miami Dolphins Defensive End
Vernon comes right behind Miller as an edge defender, and the Dolphins need to find a way to keep in around despite their close flirtation with the salary cap. With Defensive End Cameron Wake getting slightly too old for the position, Miami cannot afford to replace both at once.
Josh Norman, Carolina Panthers Cornerback
Norman has helped the Panthers lead the league in holding opposing quarterbacks to low pass ratings. The Panthers should keep this successful player on their side, because a number of rival teams need help in the position. Thankfully, the Panthers can afford him.
Cordy Glenn, Buffalo Bills Left Tackle
While Glenn is only the 10th best tackle in the NFL, most of those tackles are still caught up in contracts with other teams. He would likely be the best tackle available if he becomes a free agent, and losing Glenn would cost the Bills a lot of the work they have put in to improving their offensive line, from the embarrassment it was to the line they have today.
Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens Kicker
Kickers never get a lot of love, but they are integral to the success of a team. As one of the best kickers in the NFL, Tucker puts more points on the board for the Ravens than most of their other players. With the Ravens needing to spend their early draft picks elsewhere, it would be smart to use the franchise tag to shore up the position for the coming season.
Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs Safety
This may be a more difficult call, because Kansas City has a number of valued players set to become free agents in 2016. But if it can keep only one, it should be Eric Berry, and using a franchise tag guarantees they can. Berry has been one of the best Safetys for some time, and has greatly improved the defensive situation for the Chiefs. It would be a shame to lose him.