The New Orleans Saints haven’t dusted off the franchise tag very often, but they did just that on Tuesday by issuing it to free safety Marcus Williams, one of their top pending free agents. This move buys them some time to work out a long-term contract extension and prevents Williams from testing the open market, but the $10.5 million (or so) brick it throws into their salary cap accounting is tough to patch over.
Still, they aren’t strangers to working around a franchise tag. The Saints have used this opportunity to continue negotiating an extension each time they’ve applied the tag before. Here’s a quick rundown of the previous Saints players to be tagged since Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton took over in New Orleans: