At the beginning of the 2012 offseason, a majority of the NFL teams were able to franchise-tag one player they desired to try and work out a long-term deal. Most teams were able to re-sign those players to mutually beneficial deals while others couldn't agree on anything.
Then came the fateful day of July 16th, 2012, the last day for teams to work out a deal with their franchise tagged players. Once the deadline passed, 3 sets of teams and players were able to finalize deals while a good handful did not .
The Chicago Bears were able to ink running back Matt Forte to a 4 year, $32 million dollar deal, with $18 million guaranteed. Forte, one of the Bears most potent offensive weapons, came off a season where he rushed for 997 yards and 3 touchdowns while catching 52 passes for 490 yards and a touchdown. He missed the last 4 games due to injury, but he still was the Bears' most consistent offensive threat while he was healthy.
Down south, kicker Josh Scobee and the Jacksonville Jaguars inked a 4-year deal, $14.2 million deal that included $4.75 million guaranteed. Scobee went 23 for 25 in field goals (92.0%) and a perfect 24 for 24 in PATs. His new contract makes him the 2nd highest paid kicker (non-franchise tag) for 2012 behind the Oakland Raiders' Sebastian Janikowski ($4 million).
And finally, the Baltimore Ravens were able to come to terms with their franchise running back Ray Rice, inking him to a 5 year deal that would be worth up to $40 million. This is coming off a year were Rice posted career bests in rushing yards (1,364), rushing touchdowns (12), receiving yard (704) and receiving touchdowns (3).
But for every winner, there are losers. Kansas City wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and Redskin Tight End Fred Davis are without a long term contracts after posting serviceable receiving stats. Defensive backs Brent Grimes of the Atlanta Falcons and Dashon Goldson of the San Francisco 49ers are still stuck with their tags. Even defensive linesmen Anthony Spencer of the Dallas Cowboys and Cliff Avril of the Detroit Lions (both putting up career best in tackles and sacks in 2011) could not come to terms with their respective teams for a contract. And while Scobee signed his franchise tender, fellow kickers Phil Dawson of the Cleveland Brown and Mike Nugent of the Cincinnati Bengals did not.
Now with training camp a few days away, we will see how today's deadline will play a factor in the upcoming 2012 season. Will the franchise tagged players still be with their teams by the end of the season or will they become walking free agents.?
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