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Mailbag: Franchise Tag Strategy? Importance Of A 1st Round Receiver?

WILLIAM GOEHRING

MONTGOMERY, AL

Here's a weird thought.  Lawrence had a great year but it has only been one really good year. We have had several other defensive lineman accumulate a lot sacks in their contract year then get franchised or sign big free agent contracts, and then never perform in the same manner they did that one year.  Why not franchise Hitchens.  I bet he will perform better for a longer period of time than Lawrence.

Bryan: You're not incorrect about the lack of production when it comes to signing those defensive linemen. With that being said, I'd still do what they're planning to do with Lawrence and make him play on that tag to earn that contract. I have no problem paying him more money if in fact he can do it once again. Hitchens is a good player but not franchise worthy. 

David:You won't find a bigger fan of Anthony Hitchens' game than me. But the franchise tag is all about resource allocation. DeMarcus Lawrence gets sacks and pressures, which lead to stalled drives and takeaways. Hitchens is a very good player, but his production doesn't justify the expense of placing the tag on him. If you're going to overpay someone on a one-year deal, he needs to have a massive impact on the game. That's why you see so many pass rushers get the tag, and not as many linebackers.


JOHN STEPHENS

RICHMOND, VA

Do you see any chance that WR Calvin Ridley would fall to 19th?  I have him as an impact player that could immediately help the offense.  I think he would have the biggest impact on offense that any player in the draft could offer.

Bryan: Quenton Nelson would be an impact at guard, but you're not wrong about Ridley. He's the best receiver in the draft and if he does fall to 19 there is no question that he needs to be considered. Draft is deep at that position so if you lose him there still is a chance to grab a good one. 

David:It's not that I don't like Calvin Ridley, it's just that I think there are more efficient ways to upgrade the wide receiver position. This is a deep class, and you should be able to find a good one in the second, third or even fourth round. If Ridley fell to 19, I'd certainly consider him. But I'm not as hellbent on drafting him as a lot of people seem to be.

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