Just Can’t Let Go Yet

I was once accused of being so commitment-phobic that I allegedly had trouble buying a double CD. Things change.

Not only have I gotten over the commitment thing – most notably through a little thing I like to call wedded bliss – but I am a committed fan. My reluctance to wade back into the football realm is simply avoidance of pain, not an indication that my loyalty is gone.

SOME people around here (Doc, you know who I’m talkin’ about) just refuse to admit there was ever such a game as football. I, for one, cannot let go. (Do we think this breaks down along gender lines in most football households? Discuss.)

Last year we franchised Asante Samuel. It looks as though he’s leaving us after this year. Some fans are bitter and bidding hasty “buh byes” to the Pats cornerback. I like Samuel. It’s too reductionist to blame the SB loss on his failure to hold onto the near-interception. Everyone needed to play better than they did for us to have won it.

The “franchise tag” – What is it, Why the Pats did not put one on Randy Moss

Each year I try to learn more about the game I love so dearly. Sometimes, it’s not easy. Like when the Patriots were 80 Mill under the salary cap and Tom Brady made a public gesture of “renegotiating” his contract so they could bring on some new acquisition. I forget now who that was, but the point is, if you’re UNDER the cap, it’s unnecessary. A nice gesture maybe, but it doesn’t add up. And, it’s confusing when I’m trying to figure this stuff out.

Today, we’re looking at the Pats’ decision not to franchise Randy Moss whose contract expires next week at the technical end of the season. Let me see if I have this right: If we franchise him, it means we agree to pay him the average salary of the top five league players at his position or 120% of his previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. Anyone wishing to acquire him must give us their top two draft picks and increase his salary beyond that “franchise” average. This is too steep a price for most teams to pay.

So, if we don’t franchise a player it can mean one of many things. Last year we franchised Samuel and it now looks like we’re willing to let him go. In the case of Moss, it seems to be assumed that we have a deal with him close to done. The franchise tag for his position is 7.8 million, plus change. It’s not about a one year extension and then a “we’ll see” plan.

Teams get one franchise tag per year, it is the team’s choice to designate it as either “exclusive or nonexclusive”. Exclusive means the player is excluded from negotiating with other teams and the salary is pegged to the season in question. Nonexclusive means they use the last season’s salary and the player is free to negotiate. The tag allows a team to make or plan acquisitions and remain under the salary cap. For a good photo review of the 11 players franchised by their teams this year, click here.


Moss set an NFL record; 23 touchdown catches in the season and totaled 98 receptions for 1,493 yards. Because he renegotiated his contract to come to New England from Oakland, he is not allowed to renegotiate again in this season. Everyone seems pleased with his contributions to the team this year and Brady said he’ll follow Randy, so we have to assume the Pats are close to sealing the deal with Moss. Maybe they’re waiting for Brady to renegotiate again.


~ by jacqueline1230 on February 23, 2008.

One Response to “Just Can’t Let Go Yet”

  1. Thanks for the explanation on the franchise tag. I have heard it bandied about quite a bit this season with regard to Moss, but haven’t heard it explained. I didn’t know about the renegotiation bit, either.

    In other news, looking forward to a great boxing match tonight. Wladimir Klitschko is going for unification of his IBO and IBF heavyweight titles with Sultan Ibragimov’s WBO title. Looks to be a good matchup. Chrissy and I love Klitschko and his big bro Vitali. I’ll be rooting for him. Bit o’ trivia – this will be the first time in Garden history (in 22 (I believe) heavyweight title fights) that there is not an American in the ring. Go Dr. Steelhammer!

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