Forecasting the franchise tags | ProFootballTalk. Teams will begin using the franchise tag on players next Monday. Gregg Rosenthal lists eight players that he "would be stunned if these guys aren't tagged" and Green Bay Packers TE Jermichael Finley made the list.
The last time the Packers used the franchise tag was on Ryan Pickett two years ago. That was a strange season where I can only recall a few players receiving it. Last year, a record number of players did, which was partly due to the impending lockout. However the total might be even higher this year; Gregg Rosenthal mentioned almost 30 players who are candidates.
I'm a little surprised how slowly the free agent negotiations are going this offseason. It's not just the Packers; all these teams seem to be waiting for someone else to establish the market price at each position. That seems a little risky to me. There is a danger that the player you want to re-sign actually leaves. But it worked out fine for the Packers in recent years. They've let guys they wanted back like Chad Clifton and James Jones test the market, and re-signed them shortly after the free agent signing period began.