The last thing anybody was thinking about inlate July when thenew CBA got donewas franchise tags. Well, tagging season is upon us. Today. So, with that, we take a look at the changes negotiated to the tag process that drop the franchise numbers for tagged players from 2011 levels. Jason LaCanfora at NFL.com detailed the changes in this article back in November. The formula for coming up with the number is waaaayyyy more complex than it used to be -- a franchised guy used to be paid the average of the five top salaries at his position. Now the tag takes the average of the tags at a position over the past five years added together and then divides them by the total value of the salary cap over the past five years. That percentage is multiplied by the cap for the current year. Got it? Me neither. As Mike Florio at PFT writes, the bottom line is that the number is going down and it's going to be relatively disappointing to franchised players. But a franchised guy will still make more than your neighborhood this year. Or my neighborhood. Patriots defensive back Malcolm Williams, a seventh-round pick last April, stopped by Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas and told the players there that, "Even though we took the L (in the Super Bowl)this time, I feel like Tom Brady will get us back to the promised land two or three more times." Asante Samuel is in line for 8.4 million in Philly this year and the feeling is the Eagles will try to move him. He left a very sour taste in the Patriots' mouths when he left after the 2007 season. So sour the Patriots would pass on the ballhawk and not try to get him to be Terrell Buckley 2.0? We'll see. Mike Sherman, the Dolphins' newly-hired offensive coordinator, is high on the potential in Miami. I don't disagree with him at all.
The long-running 'Deflategate' report, released at last, casts aspersions on the Patriots, as it concludes Tom Brady 'was at least generally aware' that game balls were deflated.