Franchise tag: Deadline approaches, Giants unlikely to apply tag

Martellus Bennett - Elsa

Should the Giants use the franchise tag on any of their top free agents? Today is the final day to apply it.

Monday is the final day NFL teams can apply the franchise tag to any potential free agents, preventing them from hitting the open market later this month. Expectations are that the New York Giants will not use the tag on any of their potential free agents, meaning that unless they can come to a deal with Martellus Bennett, Kenny Phillips, Kevin Boothe, Chase Blackburn and any of their other free agents they will hit the open market on March 12.

Owner John Mara said recently the Giants would "probably not" use the tag. GM Jerry Reese was less emphatic, but it still seems unlikely that the Giants will use the tag.

In a recent poll asking which impending free agent was most important to the Giants, 41 percent (556) of the 1,329 people who voted said Boothe, the Giants' starting left guard. Bennett, the tight, received 39 percent of the vote, Phillips 13 percent and Blackburn 3 percent.

Under the franchise tag in 2013, a player is paid according to a formula based on salaries for the past five years at the position and their percentage of the total salary cap. Here is what it would cost the Giants to franchise each player:

Bennett -- $6.06 million (made $2.5 million in 2012)

Boothe -- $9.82 million (made $1.5 million in 2012)

Blackburn -- $9.61 million (made $825K in 2012)

Phillips -- $6.91 million (made $2.08 million in 2012)

Thoughts on the franchise tag, Giants' fans?

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