With the Green Bay Packers reaching terms on a new two-year contract with superstar tight end Jermichael Finley, the options they have with the franchise tag are now bound by no means.
A popular thought amongst fans might be to use the tag on long-time center Scott Wells, after news broke out that the Packers were ready and willing to let him walk this offseason.
While Scott Wells has proven over the last few years that he deserves every penny that he will sign for this offseason, it is quite clear that he has become fairly disgruntled with the Packers throughout this entire process. He feels as if he has been low-balled, and he very well may be right.
So why should the Packers waste the tag on a player who is unhappy and who is notorious for holding grudges? The relationship between Wells and the organization has been severed beyond repair, and its time for the organization to move forward as Thompson originally planned.
With Wells officially out of the picture, the answer becomes much more clear. The target of the 2012 franchise should be back up quarterback Matt Flynn.
The tag would require an instant cap hit of close to $14 million, but the idea is to work the effective strategy of tagging, signing and then trading the player. Thus that $14 million would not only be reworked into a new deal, but never actually have any effect on the Packers cap situation.
Tagging Flynn does require a little risk on the Packers part.
For example, if the Packers tag Flynn but have a limited market for his services, they could wind up getting much less than they expected or be forced to swallow the $14 million and hold onto Flynn throughout his tagged season.
That is absolutely something that the Packers are looking to avoid and a mistake they financially cannot bare.
The potential reward, however, is potentially quite large. If the Packers allow Flynn to walk on his accord, they will almost certainly get nothing in return other than a compensatory draft selection. A draft selection that would certainly be the highest allowed per league rules -- which would be a third round selection.
Using the tag on Flynn and finding a suitable partner would yield at least a pick in the second round and potentially a slew of other picks and/or players in a package type deal, depending on the resources available of their trade partner.
The Packers will have to ask themselves in the coming days if the potential reward outweighs the potential risk that comes with the designation of a franchise tag for quarterback Matt Flynn.
The answer should be an emphatic yes -- the Packers should place the tag on their young and franchise quarterback to be.