Getting tagged by your employer doesn’t seem like it would be a good thing, but it would be tough to argue with a few million bucks. That’s the situation some NFL players find themselves every season. Some players with the franchise tag, like Peyton Manning and Michael Vick, are not allowed to negotiate with other teams. The rest have a stipulation where any team who wanted to sign you would have to cough up some first-round draft picks. Here’s a quick look at some of the guys getting branded.
LaMarr Woodley, Pittsburgh Steelers
In NFL four seasons, Woodley already two AFC titles and one Super Bowl ring. The former Wolverine has been raising hell in the Steelers’ 3-4 attack since coming into the league. It was Woodley who sealed the Steelers Super Bowl win a few years back by forcing Kurt Warner to cough up the rock in the fourth quarter.
Logan Mankins, New England Patriots
Mankins had a stare-down of sorts with Patriots management this past year, holding out for the first portion of the season. He’s been doing the dirty work on the interior of the Patriots O-line for six seasons, keeping Tom Brady’s hair safe through many-a-playoff game.
Tamba Hali, Kansas City Chiefs
How awesome is it the Chiefs have another bad-ass player from Nigeria? Tough to compare Hali to Christian Okoye, but Hali has been terrorizing QBs since coming into the league. This year, Hali was tops in the AFC with 14.5 sacks. In his five NFL seasons playing defensive end and outside linebacker, Hali has only missed one game.
Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers
Jackson also had a contact squabble this past season, only playing the final half of the year, when the Chargers playoff run came up short. With Norv Turner pulling the strings the past few years, the six-foot-five Jackson has developed quite the chemistry with QB Philip Rivers. The Bolts just got to keep him from actin’ the fool, as the two-time 1,000-yard receiver spent a few days in the joint after getting his 2nd DUI last offseason.
Mercedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars
One of the league’s best names came into his own this year with the Jags, setting career highs in catches, yards, and TDs. And they say his run blocking has always been on-point. Lewis is the first Jaguars tight end to ever make the Pro Bowl, and will make $7.3 million as a result.
Haloti Ngata, Baltimore Ravens
It’s going to take two first-round picks and a lot of money to get this monster out of Baltimore. The 350-pound Ngata has been dropping anchor in the middle of the Ravens D since coming into the league in 2006. The former Oregon Duck also added some pass rush moves to his arsenal this year, netting a career high 5.5 sacks.
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