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February 24, 2008

Franchise tag less rare in rest of NFL

Now that the Panthers have dropped the franchise tag on on offensive tackle Jordan Gross, keep in mind that Gross is just the second player to be franchised in team history, the first being punter Todd Sauerbrun. Which means it's extremely rare, right?

Not so much. A quick look around the league this year shows 11 players currently tagged by their clubs. A 12th -- Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark, also was franchised but has already worked out a new contract with the Colts.

The Nashville Tennessean recently determined that the tag has been used 30 times on 24 players over the past four years. Ten eventually signed long-term contracts, the paper found, five of those before the season they were tagged for even started.

So the franchise tag isn't really all that rare, although it is if you're a Panther. Carolina can still negotiate a long-term deal with Gross until July 15.

In addition to Gross, this year's franchised players are Kansas City DE Jared Allen, Cincinnati G Stacy Andrews, Oakland CB Nnamdi Asomugha, Arizona LB Karlos Dansby, Dallas S Ken Hamlin, Tennessee DT Albert Haynesworth, Philadelphia TE L.J. Smith, Baltimore LB Terrell Suggs, Seattle CB Marcus Truffant and Green Bay DT Corey Williams.

But that number could shrink any day. -- STAN OLSON

Posted by Observer Sports on February 24, 2008 at 01:33 PM | Permalink


I think it's a good think we haven't had to use the tag much...when we've identified guys as core pieces, we've been able to extend them because they've wanted to stay. Given that it hasn't worked out with Gross, though, this was a smart move on their behalf. Certainly, it leaves us in a worse position for this year with the inflated cap number, but they planned for it as an option, and it would have been more difficult to fit an inflated salary into the budget over the length of a 6+-year deal.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 24, 2008 1:54:33 PM

Good move to franchise Gross to get one more year out of him before telling him to hit the road. Please keep him on the right side because he is even more pathetic on the left.

Not a good move to sign Wharton to a 6 year deal with that much guaranteed money. He is one year removed from a blown out knee that could go out again at anytime.

I wish someone would take Hartwig off our hands. He's a big cry baby whiner and has been an injured bust here.

Posted by: JB | Feb 24, 2008 2:26:46 PM


POSTED 1:15 p.m. EST, February 24, 2008


A league source tells PFT that the Carolina Panthers are close to an agreement with wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad, who became an unrestricted free agent when the Bears released him last week.

According to the source, the deal would pay Muhammad $1.5 million a year.

The 34-year-old Muhammad started his career with the Panthers and played nine seasons in Carolina before leaving for Chicago after the 2004 season. He had some solid seasons as a Panther, leading the league with 102 catches in 2000 and leading the league with 1,405 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns in 2004. He never came close to that level of production in Chicago.

In Carolina, he's expected to compete with Dwayne Jarrett for the No. 2 receiver spot across the field from Steve Smith.

Posted by: M | Feb 24, 2008 4:46:12 PM

That running back out of East Carolina ran a 4.24 at the Combine today. Wow.

McFadden ran a 4.27.

Posted by: Tbo | Feb 24, 2008 5:12:08 PM

Momma always said, "Just because everybody else is doin' it don't mean it's the right thing to do!" That being said, I don't disagree with the decision but I do hope it works out for the organization. To me, this is along the lines of a holdout.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Feb 24, 2008 5:32:53 PM

Fox and Hurney simply do not get it. They think that it is 2003. Muhammad is too old, does not play special teams, and drops a lot of passes. Not going to work.

Posted by: Steven | Feb 24, 2008 6:23:06 PM

Steven, Muhammad would be head and shoulders above anything Jarrett, Colbert, and Carter brought to the table last season. He's still a very physical receiver who blocks well, and would at least take coverage off Steve Smith. It would work.

Posted by: JPanther | Feb 24, 2008 10:53:53 PM



Posted by: fan | Feb 24, 2008 11:47:14 PM

This is along the lines of a holdout? How do you figure? Holdouts are when players under contract refuse to honor that contract. Gross is under no further obligation than to play out the year at the franchise salary.
JP, I certainly don't think Muhammad is head and shoulders above ANYBODY at his position at this point in his career, but even if we assume he'll be better than what we've got, at what cost? He's apparently angling for $1.5-2 mil a year, which is twice the salary of Colbert and Jarrett, and more than Carter. He might have something to offer the team, but unless they can get him for $1 mil or less (and they won't), it's just not worth it.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 25, 2008 12:03:51 AM

Either Felix Jones, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Jonathan Stewart Panther fans would be a hella back field with DeAngelo...or Reshard Mendenhall.......look out!

*Cory Boyd
*Marcus Thomas
*Ryan Torain
*Chauncey Washington

Posted by: Panther Fan D | Feb 25, 2008 1:24:30 AM

Adarius Bowman is the reciever we should look at....OK ST.

Posted by: fan | Feb 25, 2008 1:29:53 AM

Thanks Michael Procton for educating us on exactly how much Muhammad is worth on the open market in the NFL this offseason. I'm sure the Panthers will note your opinion and not pay him 1 cent over $1 mill, instead keeping the ultra productive Keary Colbert at the bargain basement price of say $900k a season. Do you see how irrational your thinking is you arrogant prick? What exactly has Colbert done to impress you?

I would take a 35 yr old Muhammad for $1.5 mil over a garbage WR for not much less who's done nothing since his rookie year...

Posted by: TK | Feb 25, 2008 7:23:22 AM

$1.5 million a year looks like a good deal to me for Muhammad. He has always kept himself in good shape. I read about his dropped passes, but I also remember all the times he went over the middle and out jumped defensive backs, particularly in his last year at Carolina.

I believe the Panthers will go for an offensive tackle in the first round. This is a good year for tackles in the draft and it appears obvious that they intend to move Wharton to guard.

Posted by: Dan | Feb 25, 2008 8:08:30 AM

Girl Procton is a big fan of Colber huh. Well you can add him to the list of Procton favorites, which includes Deshaun Foster, Dan Morgan, and David Carr...all busts that are either off the team or will be soon. Says a lot about Girl Procton's judge of talent!

I don't think Moose solves all the WR problems, but I would take him for $1.5/year for 2 years over Colbert for 900 thousand at say 3 or 4 years like Girl would like to see happen.

Posted by: Tim R. | Feb 25, 2008 8:57:28 AM

Interesting logic, TK...Keary Colbert has "done nothing" since his rookie year.
Last year:
Keary Colbert: 2.7 rec/G, 27.7 yds/G
Muhsin Muhammad: 2.5 rec/G, 35.6 yds/G
And this despite the fact that Muhammad was a starting wideout all year long (16 starts as opposed to Colbert's 8) for a team with better QBs than we had all but three weeks of the season.

Tim (would you like if I started calling you, say, Princess? I don't want to offend or disappoint you in any way.) Firstly, I would not suggest that any of the above listed players are among my "favorites," aside from perhaps Foster (who was the best back on the roster from Stephen Davis' last season on.) I respect Morgan greatly because of the competitor he was and the ability he had when he was healthy, but without a restructure, it was time for him to go (as I advocated earlier.) Further, I have also suggested that Carr should also go if he remains at his current salary. I'd also love to see where I claimed that Colbert should be signed to a 3/4 year deal at any point. The NFL is about value against production. Colbert's ratio (he was paid $513K last year) far exceeded that of Muhammad (who was paid $3.1 million.) Was his production 6 times better? No. As such, he was a less valuable player in a salary-cap league. Colbert, a player TEN YEARS younger, still has time to return to the production of his rookie year. In fact, having just had his second-most productive season of his career (an UPWARD trend), it could be suggested that he could well be on track to do so. Conversely, Muhammad, at 35 years old with declining production and coming off the fourth-LEAST productive season of his career (a DOWNWARD trend), is likely to keep declining, as most players of his age and stature have done. As such, I do indeed believe that it would be smarter to sign Colbert at 1-2 years with a salary at or under $1 million (and a low signing bonus) than it would be to sign Muhammad to a 2-year deal at $1.5 million.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 25, 2008 12:16:21 PM

Muhammad has had Rex Grossman as his qb, Colbert has had Jake, with the exception of last year, although the point could be made that Moore and Vinny are both better than Grossman. Its almost a given that Moose at his age could be twice as productive than Colber, and if that means cutting the check, then cut the check. Also, the biggest praise on Moose is his run blocking ability, something there is no stat for, but still must be considered.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 25, 2008 1:36:28 PM

If Moose has the ability to be twice as productive as Colbert, then why WASN'T he? I hope you're really not going to argue that the Panthers had better QBs than Chicago last year.
Carolina: 170.9 YPG 56.4% COMP, 5.8 YPA, 71.9 rating
Chicago: 210.1 YPG, 57.5% COMP, 6.5 YPA, 72.2 rating

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 25, 2008 1:48:27 PM

I'm not arguing STRICTLY on last season.

I'm saying that there is a huge difference having Rex Grossman as your qb and Jake.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 25, 2008 1:53:22 PM

i don't think moose is enough of an upgrade

Posted by: j | Feb 25, 2008 1:56:11 PM

Procton, I don't know where you got your stats. Check these out:

Last Season (according to NFL.com):
Colbert-32 catches, 332 yds, 10.4/catch, 0 TD
Muhammad-40 catches, 570 yds, 14.3/catch, 3 TD

Not much better, but better nevertheless. If you consider the intangibles, such as run blocking, Muhammad is much more of an asset. Neither one of these guys will fix our receiving corps overnight, but I like Muhammad a whole lot more than Colbert.

Posted by: JPanther | Feb 25, 2008 2:56:23 PM

Colbert was injured. He only played in 12 games. I "got my stats" by dividing. It's a simple math equation I learned in elementary school. Liking a guy better is one thing, but again, AT WHAT COST? If you have to pay Muhammad 50% more, that's money that doesn't go to another area of need, and do you really expect him to outproduce what Colbert could do by that much?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 25, 2008 6:24:20 PM

What in the world is going on here. Bring back Moose and he will double what Colbert did with 600+ yards. With Jake as our quarter back... Simple! He knows what to do knows the organization and whatever else. Now that's the intangibles Colbert don't have beside a game instinct to come ready to ball. Peace!

Posted by: fan | Feb 25, 2008 6:51:35 PM

Procton is claiming his stats generated off his elementary school math are more reliable than those of people getting paid to have this stuff correct at nfl.com. Tremendous.

Girl Procton your man crush on Keary Colbert is excellent. Keep dreaming he's the answer as the #2 on this team. Losers like you with low expectations that settle for, and are content with, 7-9 each year amaze me.

Posted by: Pete | Feb 25, 2008 7:47:19 PM

OK, Princess. I'll spell it out for you.

Colbert: 12 games (and only 8 starts), 32 catches, 332 yards
32/12=2.7 catches per game
332/12=27.7 yards per game
Muhammad: 16 games (16 starts), 40 catches, 570 yards
40/16=2.5 catches per game
570/16=35.6 yards per game

Those seem like VERY comparable numbers to me, particularly given that Colbert wasn't even a starter for a third of the games he played in and had a vastly inferior QB situation to Muhammad. Throw in the fact that Muhammad was paid approximately 6 times more, and you have a very clear cut answer. Colbert's production to pay ratio far exceeded that of Muhammad. I'd again love to see you show where I anointed Colbert "the answer" in any way. It has far more to do with the fact that Moose ain't. He simply deserves a chance to come back at a low price (<$1 mil, as stated many times before) and is absolutely a better value than Muhammad at $1.5 mil. If they were going to get paid the same amount, it gets closer, but Colbert is just as capable of filling that role as Muhammad is at this point in their respective careers.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 25, 2008 10:04:30 PM

Paying Moose 900K and 1.25mill aint a huge difference.

Posted by: m | Feb 26, 2008 1:05:37 AM

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