Pro Football Focus is looking at all 32 NFL team on this Valentine's Day and projecting which player on each team is most likely to receive the franchise tag. For the New York Giants, PFF opines that the decision is a debate between offensive tackle Will Beatty, tight end Martellus Bennett and safety Kenny Phillips.
This season, Beatty finally became the franchise left tackle the Giants had been waiting for. His +10.9 run block grade was the third-best of any left tackle, and he allowed only three sacks and no hits of Eli Manning. Bennett’s breakout season earned him our fifth-best tight end grade, but his run blocking took a step-down and he’s already spoken of offering the Giants a hometown discount. Phillips was reliable on the field, with just 16 yards allowed in coverage, but injuries have too often kept him off the field. While the rest of New York’s offensive line ages, locking up its best and youngest starter makes the most sense for the Giants.
Personally, I see this as a no-brainer. PFF comes to the obvious conclusion -- Beatty -- but I'm not really sure it should even be a discussion.
[Related: Franchise tag numbers]
Beatty is a quality left tackle, a commodity of immense value to NFL offenses. Bennett is good tight end the Giants would like to keep, but the Giants have had success with low-budget tight ends like Jake Ballard and Kevin Boss, making it difficult to see the Giants spending huge dollars on Bennett. Phillips is unquestionably a good player, but one with bad knees. The Giants have three other safeties with Stevie Brown, Antrel Rolle and Will Hill -- so using the tag on Phillips doesn't seem to make sense right now.
Your thoughts, Giants' fans? Vote in the poll.