49ers 2012 Free Agents: Will Trent Baalke Use The Franchise Tag?

While there is hopefully a whole lot of playoff football still to be enjoyed, there is enough on the business of things worth discussing as we plow through the bye week. I'm actually convinced the playoff bye week will feel much longer than the mid-season bye week. It may in fact never end. There's your optimism for you!

Even as the 49ers get ready for their divisional round playoff game, I've got to think the football operations staff is powering through the upcoming free agents and the new CBA to figure out how best to maximize their free agency buck. Due to some of the intricacies of this past offseason, the 49ers signed a fair number of players to one-year deals. While some of the deals didn't work out (Edwards, Braylon), some arguably could not have ended up any better (Carlos Rogers and Dashon Goldson).

The 49ers have some notable free agents on the offensive side of the ball, but two of the most important free agents are Rogers and Goldson. That is not to say one or the other is a must-sign for future success, but rather, the 49ers decisions surrounding these two could have a notable impact on the 49ers other plans in free agency.

One of the most viable options is signing one of the two and using the franchise tag on the other. Those two would seem to be the most logical players to franchise. The folks at Football Outsiders put together some projections for what the franchise tag would be at for the 2012 season. They broke down both defensive tag projections and offensive tag projections. These are just estimates while awaiting the final planned cap numbers for the upcoming season.

The cornerback position is projected between $10.431M and $10.832M while the safety position is projected between $6.22M and $6.459M. Franchise tag aside, it would seem likely that neither will be re-signed before the end of this season. Additionally, both likely would be just as open to waiting for the start of free agency to further establish their value.

If you look just at age, Goldson makes more sense to get locked up long term. On the other hand, Rogers has a history of solid production, although his interception numbers have skyrocketed this year. He is 30, while Goldson is 27, but I can't imagine anything more than a three or four year deal for Rogers. Given Goldson's up and down nature the past few years, using the franchise tag on him might make the most sense for the 49ers current needs.

How would you handle these two?

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