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Updated: March 1st, 2013 11:51am
Franchise tag for Phil Loadholt would cost Vikings $9.828 million

Franchise tag for Phil Loadholt would cost Vikings $9.828 million

by Tom Pelissero
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It remains unlikely the Minnesota Vikings will place the franchise tag on right tackle Phil Loadholt, but they now know how exactly much it would cost.

The NFL Players' Association informed agents on Friday the franchise and transition tag designations are set. For offensive linemen, the value of the franchise tag is $9.828 million.

That's how much Loadholt, 27, would make a one-year deal if he were to receive and sign the franchise tender, locking in his salary instead of waiting for a multi-year contract.

Considering only a handful of right tackles make more than $5.5 million a season, that would be a high price to pay for continuity, no matter how important Loadholt is to what the Vikings do.

The Vikings' highest-paid offensive lineman is center John Sullivan, who signed a five-year, $25.1 million deal in December 2011. Loadholt would make almost double that average under the tag.

Loadholt's agent, Gary Uberstine, has spoken with the Vikings about a contract extension since early last season. He's the highest-profile player among the Vikings' 10 unrestricted free agents.

The others are fullback Jerome Felton; safety Jamarca Sanford; linebackers Erin Henderson, Jasper Brinkley and Marvin Mitchell; receivers Devin Aromashodu and Jerome Simpson; and offensive linemen Joe Berger and Geoff Schwartz.

The Vikings are about $14.1 million under their adjusted cap for 2013, pending any additional accounting before the league year begins on March 12.

The deadline for applying the franchise or transition tags is 3 p.m. Monday. A record 21 teams used the franchise tag last year.

No teams had used the franchise tag this year until Friday, when the Buffalo Bills announced they have franchised safety Jairus Byrd and the Cincinnati Bengals franchised end Michael Johnson.

The transition tag is seldom used because it brings no draft-pick compensation if a player signs elsewhere, only the right to match an offer sheet. A franchise player signed elsewhere brings his old team two first-round picks.

Franchise and transition tag designations

Cornerbacks: $10.854 million franchise, $9.095 million transition.

Defensive ends: $11.175 million, $9.151 million.

Defensive tackles: $8.45 million, $7.039 million.

Linebackers: $9.619 million, $8.358 million.

Offensive linemen: $9.828 million, $8.709 million.

Punters/kickers: $2.977 million, $2.7 million.

Quarterbacks: $14.896 million, $13.068 million.

Running backs: $8.219 million, $6.97 million.

Safeties: $6.916 million, $6.002 million.

Tight ends: $6.066 million, $5.194 million.

Wide receivers: $10.537 million, $8.867 million.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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