With no big surprise, the Cardinals placed the franchise tag on free agent defensive end Calais Campbell over the weekend. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, Campbell stands to make $10.6 million in 2012 if he can’t agree to a long-term deal with Arizona. A starter for the past three seasons Campbell totaled 72 tackles and eight sacks in 2011.
Even though the Peyton Manning rumors continue to grow louder, starting quarterback Kevin Kolb is still there. Kolb’s $7 million offseason roster bonus is due on March 17th, but they won’t have to pay it if they release him before then. If Manning is available, after he is presumably cut in a couple days by Indy to avoid a $28 million roster bonus of his own, and the Cards are interested, they’ll have eight days to determine if he’s fit to play before they release Kolb.
San Francisco 49ers
Free agent safety Dashon Goldson was, as expected, hit with the franchise tag by San Francisco over the weekend. Both sides are said to be eager to work out a long-term deal for his services. Goldson had an outstanding season in 2011 with a career-high six interceptions to go with 67 tackles and one forced fumble. With the franchise tag, he is signed for one-year which will cost the 49ers $6.2 million, a significant raise for the safety who made $2 million in 2011.
Free agent wide receiver Josh Morgan has been sighted at team facilities almost every day during the offseason to rehab from his season-ending injury a year ago. He has told local media that no new deal has been discussed with the team, but that it could “change in a hurry.” Many teams have been said to have interest in the playmaker should no new deal be reached before the market opens on March 13th.
On Sunday night, the Seahawks locked up star running back Marshawn Lynch on a new four year deal that will pay him $31 million, including $18 million guaranteed. That’s a whole lot of Skittles. Lynch rushed for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns last season including six 100-yard games over the final nine weeks.
Seattle’s next big free agent signing would appear to be defensive end Red Bryant. But there have been rumblings that the team plans to pursue Houston Texans unrestricted free agent defensive end Mario Williams instead. ESPN’s John Clayton reported last Tuesday that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he’d consider a high-priced defensive end like Williams, who may now be out of Houston’s price range. The number 1 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft and a two-time Pro Bowler, Williams has 53 sacks in his six-year career.
St. Louis Rams
With Rams new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in big, big trouble with the NFL brass, the Rams organization has refused to let it be a story with their franchise, instead focusing all news on the intrigue behind trading their number 2 overall pick to many eager suitors. The Browns and Redskins have generated the biggest number of rumors for the pick, but Kansas City and Seattle have now entered into the fray as well. keep an eye out for the Dolphins as well.
With seemingly every team going franchise tag happy, the Rams resisted the urge to franchise free agent wide receiver Brandon Lloyd before the deadline yesterday. Neither side has ruled out a return, but the rumors persist that he desires only to play for Josh McDaniels in New England next season.
Keep an eye out for NFC West division roundups every Tuesday on The Pigskin Report
Filed under: NFC West