The phrase "a punter got the franchise tag" makes one's ears perk up, but it's not nearly as silly as it sounds on the surface. The New York Giants hit punter Steve Weatherford with the franchise tag on Monday, making him one of the highest paid punters in the NFL. Weatherford, who has spent just one season with the Giants, was a key player in their Super Bowl victory and will make $2.6 million next season if he signs the franchise tender.
If the Giants feel that Weatherford is one of the five best punters in the league, they don't have salary cap problems and they didn't have another player worthy of the tag, the move makes sense. The 29-year-old Weatherford posted career highs in average yards and net punting average in 2011 and has played for five different teams in his NFL career.