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Franchise Tag To Be Available To NFL Teams Starting On February 10

With the uncertainty surrounding the NFL's current labor situation, many people have wondered whether or not the franchise player tag is going to be available options for NFL teams with players that are scheduled to hit free agency. According to Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe, it appears that the tag will, indeed, be available. . .for a very, very limited time.

Barring some sort of court challenge by the players’ union – and it would likely be fruitless -- NFL teams will be able to use the franchise and/or transition tags in eight days.

There has been some discrepancy on whether the tags could be used this year and applied to the 2011 season, mostly from the union side.

But NFL senior vice president and general counsel Peter Rucco, who is one of the league’s in-house CBA wonks, said today that the league has told teams they can apply the tags in a 14-day window beginning Feb. 10.

In my estimation, if the Vikings are going to use this tag during that two-week window, there are three viable candidates that the team could use it on, and they're all players that the Vikings would be well served to franchise in the hopes of getting them signed to long-term deals. Those three players are defensive end Ray Edwards, linebacker Chad Greenway, and wide receiver Sidney Rice. Obviously, they can only use the tag on one of those three players. . .so, the word of the day for today is going to be "franchise." We'll take a look at all three of these players and try to present the case for using the franchise tag on any of them.

The stories about each player will be coming here shortly. . .grab your morning coffee, relax, and ponder things in your mind while you wait. I'll even provide some ambient music for your listening pleasure.