After a couple weeks of relative quite in the NFL, news is picking back up this week as teams are now allowed to utilize the franchise tag. Most teams will not apply the tag right away because they are potentially trying to work out long term deals with certain players. However, news is leaking out about certain moves that might happen. Such moves not only impact the team that is making the move, but also has a domino effect on other teams with specific interests.
The big news today is the Kansas City Chiefs signing of former Oakland Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt. The Chiefs reportedly signed Routt to a three year deal worth $19.6 million. They likely will in turn let Brandon Carr hit free agency and look for a big deal. They could elect to re-sign Carr, but after giving Routt somewhat silly money, it would be a little surprising for them to then open the checkbook for Carr.
Do the 49ers then consider Brandon Carr if the price is right? He will turn 26 this offseason and has shown some skills. However, given his age, I wouldn't be surprised to see bidding get a little bit out of hand. Although Carlos Rogers is interested in returning to San Francisco, he also wants a longer deal. Do the 49ers roll the dice on a younger Carr with a couple extra years?
The other area where this gets interesting is in their potential use of the franchise tag. There were some thoughts they might use it on Carr, but if they let Carr walk, they could then use the tag on wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. I don't know how realistic it is to think the 49ers back up the Brink's Truck for Bowe, but a franchise tag removes that from the discussion almost entirely.
The other move that is simply rumor at this point is that the Rams are unlikely to franchise Brandon Lloyd. I don't know how realistic it was that they would tag him, but it is still noteworthy that sources are indicating they specifically will not use it. This is of note in part because it means one more wide receiver hits the market. Lloyd is a fairly flashy wide receiver and if I'm the 49ers, getting him added into the market mix could open the door for another receiver to come in under the radar.
Who that mystery receiver would be remains to be seen. However, the more wide receivers that flood the market, the better to potentially snag a sleeper in the mix, much like Carlos Rogers at cornerback last year. The 49ers have money to spend, but if they can find a low profile sleeper, all the better.
Although much of the next week will be filled with rumors and "sources indicate" reporting, we'll keep an eye out for such leaks. The 49ers likely will take some time to sort through their free agents. They have a couple weeks to get this sorted out, so there is really no rush for now. Matt Maiocco indicated the team has some talks planned for this week, so we'll see if any deals get figured out.