Chicago Sun-Times

Tag, you're it ... a look at the '08 franchise & transition numbers

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So, you say you want to place the franchise tag on wide receiver Bernard Berrian for the 2008 season.

That move will cost the Bears $7.8 million for 2008 as the figures for franchise and transition tags have been released (see below for complete breakdown).

That’s a lot of money to fork over for a receiver coming off a season with 71 receptions for 951 yards and five touchdowns. Of course, with a more settled offense and a stable quarterback position, his production would no doubt be enhanced.

General manager Jerry Angelo, in his postseason address, did not rule out the possibility of using the franchise tag on Berrian. The transition tag number is $6.9 million.

``We really haven’t talked about the franchise tag,’’ Angelo said earlier this month. ``I don’t like to use it, but if it’s in our best interest, I’m not going to rule anything out.

``We’d certainly like to have Bernard back, but if it doesn’t work out, then we have to have players that will step in, be it a Mark Bradley right off the top of my head or somebody that we look at in the draft potentially.’’

Angelo’s dislike of the franchise tag didn’t stop him from placing it on linebacker Lance Briggs this past season at a cost of $7.206 million. The figure for linebackers jumps to $8.065 million this coming season, but because Briggs was on the field for more than 75 percent of the defensive snaps, the Bears cannot tag him again.

Before the season, Berrian was asked about the franchise tag, a device that angers most players because it prevents them from signing a longterm contract with more guaranteed money. Briggs, for one, threw a fit when the Bears tagged him, threatening to never wear their uniform again.

``It could happen,’’ Berrian said prior to last season. ``But if at all possible, I would like to avoid the franchise tag. I would rather be under contract instead of having to sign a one-year tender.’’

The tag means a lot of money, Bernard.

``That is a lot of money for one year,’’ he agreed.

``I’m definitely not going to cry and sit in my bed and think, `Oh, damn, they're franchising me, what am I going to do?’’’ Berrian said. ``No matter how people want to look at it, football is a business. If that were to happen, I don't think I would be mad about it.

``Like Lance was, I would probably be upset. You want the long-term deal and you want to be where you're at, especially when you're in a good situation. Sometimes you get the franchise tag and you're thinking, `What are they thinking by franchising me? Am I one-and-done with them?’ There are a lot of things that go into play with it.’’

The Bears made an initial contract offer on a longterm extension to Berrian last summer. The deal included roughly $7.5 million guaranteed. That’s what makes it very interesting if the organization is now going to consider paying him more than that for one season.

The Bears must rework their wide receiver position, but at what cost?

The franchise tag and transition tag numbers for 2008:

Franchise Tag Numbers

QB - $10.7 million
RB - $6.5 million
WR - $7.8 million
TE - $4.5 million
P/K - $2.5 million
OL - $7.5 million

DE - $8.9 million
DT - $6.4 million
LB - $8.1 million
S - $4.4 million
CB - $9.5 million

Transition Tag Numbers

QB - $9.6 million
RB - $5.7 million
WR - $6.9 million
TE - $3.7 million
P/K - $2.2 million
OL - $6.9 million

DE - $7.7 million
DT - $5.6 million
LB - $7.3 million
S - $3.8 million
CB - $7.7 million

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7.8 million for Berrian? My God.... what has this world come to?
That would have amounted to 1.1 million per dropped pass in 07.
Let the overrated Bernard leave and draft a couple of kids in draft. I've seen many college WRs that could easily outperform him ..... Jackson from App State, Caldwell, the kid from Indiana, etc.

I would like to see the Bears reach an agreement with Bernard Berrian because I agree with an improved running game and playing with the same QB he probably would have had bigger numbers. People have pointed out that Berrian has a tendency to dissappear in games I think that stems from not having a legit receiver on the other side. Also the Bears cannot afford to go into the season with an unproven receiver. Don't get me wrong I do not want the Bears to overpay for Berrian either. If Berrian ask for to much money the Bears might want to consider a darkhorse sitting in free agency that player being Arizonas Bryant Johnson a speedster whos catches go for big yardage. As far as Johnson never starting its kind of hard to get on the field when you got Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin on the same team with you. I think Johnson teamed with Mark Bradley and tightend Greg Olsen the bears should be good to go. As far as drafting a wide out thats all good but you cannot rely on a rookie at the receiver postion. And I don't think Devin Hester is ready to be a full time receiver either the Bears might need to ease Hester into the position for one more season.

Dont tag Berrian!!! I thought he would really play "up" this year knowing he had a contract coming. Sorry, that just didnt happen. I feel he is a solid performer at best. What is he going to do now that he has money?! Play up....doubtful.....dont look for Bradley either...if he was good he would have had more than a few receptions, or balls thrown his way. UUUUGGGHHH!!!

Bernard Berrian is a #2 receiver at best. His speed will cause some team to overpay for him similar to what the redskins did with Randle El, and then be disappointed when his play doesn't match his pay. I think that Mark Bradley will be able to step in and outperform Berrian if given the opportunity. He has the speed,size, and hands to become a #1 barring injury. I also think that Hester has shown the same big play ability that Berrian has on the go routes. With Bradley, Hester, Davis (hopefully), Olsen, and Clark we have enough guys to go out and throw balls too. I didn't mention moose because I think he is to old and slow to be effective for our team. Bears must focus on the O-line and running game because once that is taken care of everything else will fall into place. The QB position will be stabilized once Kyle Orton wins the QB competition this offseason. I know mentioning him may have cost me my credibility to some people, but i think he's good and our qb of the future......
GO KYLE!!!!!!

The bears need a QB. Grossman is not ready for the big game, Orton, can't make the big plays down field i.e.,(Hester) and Griese is just a stable back up. WE NEED A QUARTERBACK!!!!!!!

Berrian should be pursued long term, his speed and route ability allow for plays to be made by him, particularly if the quarterback (whomever that may be) has time to make a play. Draft a left OT with first round pick, with either a stud safety, linebacker, running back or big fast wideout in round two, a QB in the later rounds (maybe a third round Montana or 6th round Brady type would do, what round was Favre taken)QB's in general are a crap shoot,the QB's in this years draft don't seem to be all that strong, but have developmental potential. Regardless the Bears can't pick good QB's anyway. Keep Rex and Orton, get Faneca,get free agent RB, resign Ruben Brown for a year, move Tait to RT then the OL would be good. Benson needs competition to run better than the slug he has shown to be the last few years. Then the Bears might just win the Superbowl in 2009. A healthy D is very good, the special teams outstanding and with the changes noted above, the offense would be top 10 to 15 in the fall of 2008.

I say...end these silly 'tags'. If they don't want to play where they are for financial reasons, then they shouldn't have been there in the first place. Bye-bye overrated role players. HEL-LO

There is no way there is any player on the Bears roster who should be franchise tagged, outside of Urlacher and Tommie Harris. Berrian can go to the Raiders and enjoy that mess for a few years. Bradley, when given a chance, has a much better skill set than just running fly routes or comebacks, which is all Berrian can do for us. If we are bringing back Muhammed, we need to let Berrian go. If we are cutting Muhammed, then we need to consider replacing that spot with Hass or Drisan James. But we need to get more production out of Bradley, Davis, Hester, Clark, and Olson next year, and Berrian makes us too one-dimensional (deep routes) and we need some serious upgrades to pass protection before we can do that consistently. I say you give the younger guys a chance, and let the inconsistent hands of Berrian and Muhammed go elsewhere next season.

I would be discouraged to watch next year if they franchise him i mean he had his opportunities last year and just didn't make the big plays. If he could actually block then maybe he would be getting that extension he wants but we need tp see whats behind door number 2 and 3 beccause bradley and davis and berrian all fit the same criteria they are the same size speed and lack blocking skills so why have all 3? I say we need to make Greg Olsen more of a reciever beacuase he can create the matchups and let clark continue to do his thing because both are way to valuable on the field. We can have hester and wolfe share 3wr position and draft a stud or steal a big time wr for our number 1.If we increase the oline that will allow all of the success to happen.

I say cut mooose try to keep berrian, if not get free angent Johnson with Bradely Hester third draft OT Otah ot guy from USC,then draft Flacco {keep Grossman]RB Tashard Choice out GT.Another O-linman,then SS Woodyard out of Kentucky,then WR Caldwell or Keenan Burton.Also Cut RT Miller[too old]

The Bears will not "tag" Berrian - there's no way they will pay him $7.8M for one year, and they shouldn't. The only way Berrian or Briggs comes back is if the market is weaker than expected and they can get them at a decent price - not likely.

Let's trade Lovie for some cheerleaders. The players have to coach themselves anyway. I'd rather sit in the stands and look at cheerleaders instead of Lovie standing there staring at us.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 26, 2008 11:52 PM.

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