The New England Patriots have elected to franchise Pro Bowl Guard Logan Mankins for the 2011 season for $10.1 million. his does at least give them the chance to negotiate a more permanent deal for their 2005 1st round draft pick, however they risk losing him if the current players and owners negotiations break down and 2011 ends in a lock out.
The risk lies in the potential unenforceable nature of the franchise tag if the owners by their actions have effectively ended the collective bargaining agreement under which the tag applies. This could be an expensive mistake for the Patriots who could end up losing one of their best players and receiving scant if any compensation.
One could argue that with their current depth of squad and the plethora of draft picks they have acquired that losing Mankins wouldn’t be a total disaster, however no team or their fans will be happy losing proven quality.
Hopefully this will all be academic however with the clock fast ticking down to the 4th March expiration of the current collective barganing agreement it would be hoped that the teams with players on tag will have a plan B ready.