Five NFL Teams Used Their Franchise Tags on Kickers

Yeah, they're that important.

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Just so everybody is clear, let's go over a few things first. Each team is given one franchise tag each year and has up to a certain date, this year's was Monday, March 5, to use the tag. Basically, team's put a tag on a player that is about to become a free agent to lock them down for at least one more year. This allows them a few more months to try to work out long-term deals. This year, teams have until July to 16 to make that happen. 

So, while some teams like the Bears and Saints used their tags to keep their team's best players, running back Matt Forte for Chicago and Drew Brees in New Orleans, others tagged kickers as their franchise players. Five others to be exact: The Giants and punter Steve Weatherford, the Bengals and kicker Mike Nugent, the Browns and kicker Phil Dawson, the Broncos and kicker Matt Prater, and the Jags and kicker Josh Scobee

The tag, determined by the average of the top five salaries at the player's position in April of the current year, is said to come in at around $2.6 million. Out of the five, Prater is the standout, as he had many clutch kicks that kept the Broncos alive or won games for them down the stretch. Prater was 19/25 on the season and 3/4 from 50 yards or longer, including a game-tying 59-yarder against the Chicago Bears. He also kicked in all four of his attempts in the playoffs. Scobee had the highest percentage of the four at 92 percent. We imagine all five of these guys will be sitting comfortable new deals by the time training camp rolls around. 

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