There has been plenty of speculation in recent days about which free agent the Vikings might want to place their franchise tag on, if they elect to use it at all. Linebacker Chad Greenway and wide receiver Sidney Rice have been the two names mentioned most frequently.
This debate was sparked by the NFL telling its teams that they can put that tag on players whose contracts are set to end, even if there isn't a new collective bargaining agreement completed. This seemed like an odd move considering the possibility that a lockout will take place when the current CBA ends on March 4.
Evidently the NFLPA agreed that the NFL was getting ahead of itself. The Associated Press reported that the union sent a letter to agents Thursday to inform them the NFL was wrong about its stance on the franchise tag, which enables a team to retain a player who would have been an unrestricted free agent by offering him a one-year deal worth 120 percent of his salary from the previous season or the average of the five-highest paid at his position. That simply comes down to whichever is greater.