NFL free agency is still a few weeks away, but teams can begin to make moves to secure their biggest free agents as Monday is the first day NFL teams can use their franchise tags. A number of players are expected to get tagged, but so far the news has been focused on who won't be tagged, rather than who will.
Teams have until March 4 to decide to use their franchise tag, but Philadelphia didn't waste any time making a decision. According to a report from Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly, the Eagles will not use their franchise tag this season. That means the Eagles will not use the franchise tag on pending free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Doing so would have cost the Eagles roughly $10.7 million. That doesn't, however, mean Rodgers-Cromartie's career in Philadelphia is over. As Bleeding Green Nation wrote, the Eagles can still work out a new deal with Rodgers-Cromartie before free agency or after he tests the market.
The Patriots may use their franchise tag, but it won't be on Wes Welker, according to a report from Ron Borges of the Boston Herald. New England would owe Welker $11.4 million, a price they are apparently not willing to pay for the 31-year-old receiver. Adam Fox of Pats Pulpit wrote that while not surprising, the decision to not use the franchise tag on Welker is concerning. Fox noted the Patriots have already invested in Tom Brady, Logan Mankins, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. With significant money already invested on offense, it's possible we've seen the last of Welker in a Patriots uniform, unless he reduces his asking price.
For more on free agency, check out SB Nation's complete coverage
Percy Harvin isn't scheduled to be a free agent until next offseason, but his demand for a new contract has put some doubt into his future in Minnesota. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said last week he has "no intent" to trade Harvin. Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder weighed in on the situation during a radio appearance on KFAN on Monday.
"Obviously we want Percy back. He's a tremendous player and he's a Viking. And those are tough shoes to fill and we don't want to fill them," Ponder said.
Ponder's desire for Harvin to return shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Whether it will happen remains the biggest question. Harvin is scheduled to make $2.9 million next season and is reportedly seeking a raise to more than $10 million per season. SB Nation's Vikings blog, the Daily Norseman has much more on Harvin's future in Minnesota.
Like Harvin, Darrelle Revis' name has also been involved in trade rumors. Unlike Harvin, the rumors of trading Revis came from the team, something the All-Pro cornerback isn't very happy about. Andrea Kremer of the NFL Network discussed the trade rumors with Revis recently. Revis said he was speechless because no one from the Jets contacted him.
"Just the fact that was put out there instead of contacting your best player...If that's how u want to do business, then that's fine," Revis said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
The rumors originated before the Jets hired general manager John Idzik and as Scott Salmon of Gang Green Nation wrote, Revis' response may be triggered around generating support from fans.
Perhaps this is just Revis playing hardball with the team and trying to get the fans on his side. That's what I think is going on. But this whole thing stinks to high heaven. If the rumors truly came from the team, they didn't come from someone with the actual authority to make such a decision (barring it being Woody Johnson, which doesn't make sense since he had just said that Idzik would have final say on personnel). I think Revis is just making a big stink out of nothing for better PR.
While it was a busy day for players already in the NFL, there was also some news for soon-to-be NFL players. USC quarterback Matt Barkley and Alabama running back Eddie Lacy will not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine. Barkley will not throw at the combine due to a shoulder injury suffered late in the season while Lacy will not work out due to a hamstring injury. Both players are hoping to be able to work out at their respective pro days.
As always, follow SBN Football on Twitter for the latest and greatest NFL news throughout the day.