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NFL Free Agency 2012: Who Gets The Franchise Tag?

Over at SBNation.com, Joel Thorman runs through all the possible players who could receive a franchise tag. For the Texans, his choice falls into the "Maybe."

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Texans: Arian Foster. Similar situation as Wallace. Foster is a restricted free agent but there's concern he wouldn't be safe with a tender. So the question becomes whether Foster gets the franchise tag or not. I think he probably does just so the Texans can be sure and sleep at night. But things will get interesting if Foster has the first-round tender on him. Another huge free agent for Houston is Mario Williams, but he's just too expensive. The franchise tag would be nearly $22 million for him, and the Texans can't afford that. They'll try their best to work out a deal with him.

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It's an interesting choice, with Foster getting the nod over Williams. If there's one thing everyone can agree upon, it's that Houston cannot afford to franchise tag Mario. He may sign a below-market deal to stay in town, but he will not be making $22 million this season.

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That leaves Foster, who is a restricted free agent under the news Collective Bargaining Agreement rules, but could be tagged to avoid having another team swoop in and sign him away.

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Who might do that? Look at other teams employing the Texans one-cut scheme...namely the Washington Redskins. But, for that to happen, the Redskins would need a running back (check). Oh, and they'd also need an owner willing to spend a ridiculous amount of money on players (check).

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Would the Redskins go after Foster if the Texans gave him the highest tender? You can bet they'd take that deal, which is why Houston would need to tag Foster.

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.