Miami doesn’t have any legitimate candidates for the franchise tag. The only player who comes remotely close is wide receiver Kenny Stills, who led the team in touchdown catches (nine) and yards per reception (17.3). Stills will get interest from the Dolphins and elsewhere if he hits the open market, but it won’t be anywhere near the top salaries at his position, which is what the franchise tag commands.
The NFL hasn’t calculated them yet, and one of the twists of the franchise tag window is that teams can extend them without knowing the exact figure. They’re usually released during the annual scouting combine, in the days before free agency begins. In a few cases, deals that happen between now and then can impact the exact numbers. The exact per-team salary-cap total — also not solidified yet — can change them as well.
The Browns at some point have to take a shot at a quarterback. Garoppolo is this year’s “it” guy. It will take a lot to get him and to pay him.
If the Browns decide Garoppolo is their guy, if they believe he is the answer, there is no reason not to give up the 12th pick to get him.
CBSSports.com already has reported that the Bears will make a strong bid to acquire Garoppolo. If Chicago is willing to give up the third overall pick in the draft, it would prove that the price is rarely too high if a team believes it has its guy.
Garoppolo might want not warrant that large a deal, but it won’t be far off.
The argument against Garoppolo? Belichick has made a living of grooming quarterbacks and letting them go when he had a replacement. Names such as Matt Cassel, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett come to mind. None had sustained, long-term success after he got a chance with other teams.