Audibles From the Long Snapper: Tag Deadline Day Edition

| March 5th, 2012

4:00 pm EST is Franchise Tag Deadline

There are two players Bears fans should concern themselves with when it comes to today’s applications of the franchise tags: Vincent Jackson and Dwayne Bowe. Kansas City, it is believed, will tag Bowe if they can’t work out a deal by the middle of the day. A.J. Smith and the Chargers brass, however, are said to have little interest in using the tag and are said to be willing to allow VJax to enter the marketplace. If they do the Bears can’t allow themselves to be outbid. They must use the full court economic press and bring Jay Cutler the size and speed he requires on the outside. Signing Jackson would not only strengthen the receiving corps but also give Phil Emery tremendous versatility with his first round draft pick.

On Bounties…

Here is my big problem with the Saints bounty story. A year ago, during labor negotiations, the players preached solidarity. They preached they were a single organism and ownership was out to limit to their economic intake during their short-term NFL tenures. They were against the 18-game schedule for health reasons and never allowed the issue to be put on the table. They are still against rigid HGH testing and many believe it is because players depend on HGH for muscle regeneration. (Being that football is just 300-pound guys hitting each other repeatedly, I get it.) Now we find out that 1 of the 32 teams was benefitting economically from sending players to the sideline. Not just quarterbacks, either. This was tight ends and linemen and backups. Guys who play less than five years on average in the league. If you knocked ANY player out of a game, you were worthy of a bonus.

I don’t get on the moral high horse with these types of issues. But if the Bears had done this I would be incredibly embarrassed.

Sure Seems Like Mario Williams is Going to Hit Open Market

ProFootballTalk does a nice job breaking down the situation between Mario Williams and the Texans:

Given that the final year of Williams’ rookie deal had a cap number that would push his franchise tender above $22 million, that’s highly unlikely.

Making it even more highly unlikely is the fact that the Texans and Williams have yet to engage in serious negotiations, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The Texans could tag Williams by 4:00 p.m. ET Monday, adding $22 million to their cap commitments.  The team then would have to embark on a one-week effort to clear cap space.  Candidates for restructured deals and/or pay cuts include receiver Jacoby Jones ($3 million base salary in 2012), linebackerDeMeco Ryans ($5.9 million), quarterback Matt Schaub ($7.15 million), receiver Kevin Walter ($3.5 million), and tackle Eric Winston ($5.5 million).

There are three other reasons to not keep Williams.  First, in a 3-4 defense, outside linebackers can be capably filled by a much less expensive player.  For years, the Steelers had a revolving door at the position, letting “star” players walk and reloading with guys who had the ability to take advantage of a potent three-man defensive line that ties up the blockers.  The Texans will have a hard time justifying the extra money it will take to have an elite player like Williams in that role.

Mario Williams is an elite pass rusher. The whole league will want him.