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Patriots can eye a few candidates for the franchise tag

Patriots can eye a few candidates for the franchise tag
Published On: Tue, Feb 20
Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (99) reacts after a play aNew England Patriots during the third quarter in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Decision time looms when it comes to shaping the Patriots roster for the 2018 season.

Today marks the first opportunity to apply the franchise tag to players, and teams must make their designations by March 6. For the uninitiated, the franchise tag commits a team to a one-year guaranteed contract that prevents a player from becoming an unrestricted free agent. The dollar amount is determined by the five-year average of the top earners at each position.

Each team can only use the franchise tag once per year. For the Pats, the most significant name that normally would be considered is left tackle Nate Solder. However, due to terms in his last contract, Solder cannot be tagged. So if the Pats want to retain him for 2018, they have to find a way to re-sign him.

Clearly, Solder is the main priority. The offensive lineman can certainly find a big payday on the open market if not tagged. Although retirement has been talked for the 29-year-old, whose son faces serious health concerns, Solder stated he wants to continue his career. He took a team-friendly, two-year $20 million deal last time, and the question now is whether he would do so again with the prospects of earning a bigger contract elsewhere.

Read the complete news article here...

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