Thread: Around The NFL:
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:10 AM   #344
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Posted by Mike Florio on December 26, 2008, 10:39 a.m.

The Cincinnati Bengals have a history of not re-signing free agents to long-term deals, but of using the franchise tag to keep them around for a year and then letting them walk away thereafter.

This time around, however, the Bengals apparently don’t intend to use the franchise tag on receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

According to Adam Schefter of NFL Network (via the Cincinnati Enquirer), the Bengals instead will attempt to sign Houshmandzadeh to a long-term deal.

Assuming Schefter is correct (and we’ve got no reason to think he isn’t), why in the hell would the Bengals view the two subjects as mutually exclusive?

The better approach would be to attempt to sign Houshmandzadeh to a long-term deal, while at all times keeping the ability to use the franchise tag as a last resort in the team’s back pocket.

The concept is known in the football business (and in most other industries) as “leverage.” So why wouldn’t the Bengals at least use the threat of the tag to help persuade Houshmandzadeh to sign a new deal?

Maybe it’s because they’re, you know, the Bengals.
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