Yesterday I wrote that the Cowboys were foolish not to use the franchise tag on LT Doug Free, as their only good, young, proven offensive lineman is going to be exposed to the rest of the league if reports that 4th year players with expired contracts are able to test the free agent waters are indeed true. In response to that piece, I received a few questions about whether or not the league would think about giving teams a second chance to use the franchise tag on players that were originally given restricted free agent tenders (under last offseason’s rules).
The simple answer – Don’t count on it.
The deadline to franchise players was February 25th, and the Cowboys knew full well at that time that there was a very good chance those tenders would be meaningless in the new CBA, as did every other NFL franchise. By my count, there were a whopping 10 NFL teams that used their franchise tag on players that would have been eligible for a restricted free agent tender, listed here:
|Player||Yrs in NFL||Team|
Jerry Jones is going to have to live with his gamble.