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Updated: February 20th, 2014 3:48pm
Report: Vikings likely won't use franchise tag

Report: Vikings likely won't use franchise tag

by Andrew Krammer
1500ESPN.com
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Looking back to 2007, the Minnesota Vikings have used the franchise tag just once. 

That trend should continue, general manager Rick Spielman said per Ben Goessling of ESPN.com, despite having more than a handful of unrestricted free agents that are open to testing the NFL market. 

The 2014 free agents: 

DE Jared Allen
DE Everson Griffen
DT Kevin Williams
DT Fred Evans
LB Desmond Bishop
LB Larry Dean*
LB Marvin Mitchell
CB Chris Cook
CB Marcus Sherels*
RB Matt Asiata+
RB Toby Gerhart
QB Matt Cassel
QB Josh Freeman
WR Jerome Simpson
WR Joe Webb
OL Joe Berger
T J'Marcus Webb
G Charlie Johnson

*Restricted free agent
+Exclusive rights free agent

Linebacker Chad Greenway is the only Vikings player to have been tagged since 2007 as the Vikings have bucked a NFL trend that saw a record 21 teams use the tag in 2012. 

The Vikings have an interesting group of free agents that are likely to garner attention from the other 31 teams, including quarterback Matt Cassel and defensive ends Jared Allen and Everson Griffen

Those two positions set the bar for franchise tender salaries, per NFL.com. Quarterbacks are projected to $16.2 million for a one-year tender and defensive ends trail behind at $12.6 million. However, the Vikings already resigned one 30-year-old defensive end in Brian Robison in October. Given their history and Spielman's recent comments, the Vikings are likely looking to sign one of the defensive ends to a multi-year deal depending on the asking price. A 26-year-old Griffen is the likely recepient. 

No free agents on offense gain much attention for the franchise tag, even though the Vikings have the fourth-most cap space among NFL teams for 2014, per ESPN. Tagging the likes of Matt Cassel would be overkill considering their need for a veteran presence to groom a young passer, not lead the future of the team. Cassel was tagged by the New England Patriots in 2009 for over $14 million before they traded him to Kansas City later that offseason. 

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for 1500ESPN.com. He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer
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