As expected, the first day of the franchise-tag season evaporated without as much as a whisper from the Patriots. It’s very possible that won’t change for a while, if at all. Teams have until March 4 to use the franchise or transition tag on one of their free agents, and there’s no rush for them to use it early in the process, particularly since free agency doesn’t begin until March 12. Preliminary discussions typically occur immediately after the season, but the negotiations don’t usually get heated up until front-office executives and agents file into Indianapolis this week for the combine. When talks stall or teams realize the tag is their ultimate course of leverage, that’s when it gets used. Wide receiver Wes Welker won’t be tagged, which essentially leaves cornerback Aqib Talib and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer as the Pats’ two candidates. At this point, there hasn’t been an indication that the tag is on the immediate horizon for either.
Expect Patriots to stay quiet for a while
Boston Herald | Feb 19