The NFL has said that teams can start using the franchise tag beginning February 10th (tomorrow). The franchise tag pays a player a 1-year fully guaranteed contract that is equal to the average of the 5 highest contracts at their respective position. Paul Kuharsky, who does the AFC South Blog for ESPN.com projected who he thinks each AFC South team will franchise. No secret who he picks from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Marcedes Lewis has long been a key player in the Jaguars' running attack, and this is going to continue be a run-based team. He was more of a threat in the passing game and consistently found his way into the end zone in 2010. He'd be a popular guy on the open market, and is too good of a player for the Jaguars to let get away. If he got away, Maurice Jones-Drew, David Garrard, a drafted quarterback, the offensive line and the receivers would all suffer as a result.
2011 Projected Franchise Tender: $7.285M
Kuharsky uses the generally reliable franchise tag contract numbers from Brian McIntyre.