With Michael Vick the latest player to receive a massive new deal and shed the franchise tag, I figured this was a good time to look at other players who are either in negotiations with their teams or will begin talks shortly.
With Vick, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady all secured to long-term contracts, Saints QB Drew Brees is up next in the final year of his deal. Brees could end up with the franchise tag for a year or two, but both parties would love to work out a long-term deal.
Vick’s signing also leaves WR DeSean Jackson as the Eagles’ last contract issue, although that easily could extend into the season.
Three-time Pro Bowl RB Chris Johnson clearly won’t play for $800,000 this season, and he and the Titans continue to negotiate a long-term deal.
If Frank Gore is willing to do a short-term deal in the range of the running back franchise tag (about $6.5 million per year), then his agent’s meeting with the 49ers might prove fruitful. A long-term deal with significant guarantees seems unlikely, according to sources.
Two defensive tackles who remain on the franchise tag (Paul Soliai of the Dolphins and Haloti Ngata of the Ravens) have exchanged proposals, according to league sources. Nothing is imminent with either, but a deal for Ngata before the Sept. 20 deadline to extend franchise players is much more likely at this point.
The Bengals lost out on Jonathan Joseph, but they are exchanging proposals with CB Leon Hall.
With the Bills getting star nose tackle Kyle Williams locked up to a long-term deal, breakout WR Stevie Johnson is next on their list.
The Browns also have been in talks with the agent for “Madden NFL 12” cover boy Peyton Hillis, but nothing is close at this point, according to sources.
And the Bears have been talking to the agent for RB Matt Forte since the end of the lockout, while safety Chris Harris also is in line for a new payday, especially with safety contracts skyrocketing this offseason.