Franchise Tag Possibilities; Ballard Ready to Return

Some quick hits from around the net today…..

SNYGiants insider Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News believes the Giants will not use their franchise tag on anyone this offseason.

Beginning tomorrow, teams can place a franchise tag on one UFA they want to keep for another season. The prices are high and the players the Giants might consider franchising are probably not worthy of the tag.

T Will Beatty might be the best candidate if the team is not close to a deal with him come March 12th. As per Ralph:

“The franchise tag for an OL will be about $9.7 million, which is a very hefty price. The preference would be a long-term deal that’s a little more cap friendly. The Giants could slap him with the “tag” though if they’re close to a deal and sure they could work one out before free agency begins on March 12.”

Other candidates Ralph mentioned were S Kenny Phillips (forget it at $6.798 million) and TE Martellus Bennett, who would cost nearly $6 million.

Speaking of TEs.…Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston is reporting that TE Jake Ballard’s recovery from knee surgery is “coming along nicely” and “there have been no setbacks, thus putting him closer to competing for a spot on the Patriots’ crowded tight end depth chart in 2013.”

Ballard, you remember, tore up his knee in Super Bowl XLVI and was scheduled to miss the 2012 (which he did). He was headed for IR last June, but when the Giants tried to sneak him through waivers the Patriots swooped in and claimed him.

Ballard was actually on his way back to TIMEX to rejoin the Giants when he received a call from his agent that he had been claimed by the Patriots.

Reiss was surprised that the Patriots were even more adroit than usual in their heist of Ballard, who is not eligible for unrestricted free agency until after the 2014 season.