The Kansas City Chiefs have just under three hours to place the franchise tag on one of their impending free agents.
But who will it be?
Bowe is a former first-round pick and has long been the Chiefs’ best receiver. He was franchised last season by the previous organization while CB Brandon Carr was allowed to sign a monster deal with the Dallas Cowboys. Bowe has proven his worth over and over again and frankly, the Chiefs have no better options. Locking up Bowe long-term would be preferable but the KC offense can’t afford to lose its only legit receiving threat.
Albert is also a former first-round pick. He played guard in college but has developed into one of the better pass blocking LTs in the NFL. Albert is facing a buyer’s market when it comes to tackles this offseason. There should be plenty of depth at the position in free agency and the draft. Albert may think he is heading toward a big payday but he could end up getting less than he expects.
Franchising Albert would allow the Chiefs to turn their attention elsewhere with the #1 pick in the 2013 NF Draft. Albert’s best hope at getting franchised will be if the Chiefs either sign Dwayne Bowe to a long-term deal or decide to risk parting ways with the receiver.
Dorsey was drafted by the Herm Edwards, Carl Peterson regime. After a slow start to his career, Dorsey found a role as a 3-4 run-stopper. Whether it was the scheme holding him back or a lack of talent, Dorsey has never shown the pocket-collapsing ability he was expected to have when he was drafted. The Chiefs have already paid Dorsey a ton of money and while he is a fine player, he isn’t worth spending the big bucks on.
Still, KC may be forced to cut Tyson Jackson, so not franchising Dorsey could mean the Chiefs will need two starting defensive ends. Considering both Dorsey and Jackson were first-round picks, losing them both in one season would be a blow.
Colquitt is one of the best punters in the NFL and just made his first Pro Bowl. Franchising kickers and punters is cheap and it would allow the Chiefs to hang on to one of the league’s best at pinning opposing team’s inside the 20.
The downside, of course, is that franchising Colquitt would mean KC can’t guarantee the return of Bowe, Dorsey or Albert.
Time for final predictions. Let us know your vote in the comments.