Based on comments made by Marv Levy and Dick Jauron this week, it seems fairly certain that the Buffalo Bills will use the franchise tag on Nate Clements, preventing their top cornerback from testing the free agent waters. Tagging Clements would cost "only" $5.89 million, the average of the top five salaried NFL corners last season. There's concern that Clements would resent the franchise tag. That's usually the case when a free agent is denied a chance to sell himself to the top bidder. On the open market, Clements would be seeking the deal of his life, a contract with an overall worth around $50 million and a signing bonus in the $15 million range. Well, tough. Walter Jones, the Seahawks' Pro Bowl left tackle, got the franchise tag three times. Jones chafed at the designation and became a perennial holdout, but he eventually signed a seven-year, $52.5 million deal. Steve Hutchinson, Seattle's Pro Bowl left guard, is a leading candidate for the franchise tag this season. Clements would be fortunate to be paid as a top five corner, if even for one year. The fact is, he wasn't that good last season. He had a mediocre year for a bad defense that couldn't stop opponents in the red zone. He got torched by Chris Chambers in Miami, and by numerous receivers in San Diego. Teams were much more willing to throw his way, and Clements wasn't a difference-maker, especially in road games. Yes, Clements can be a dynamic playmaker. He suffered last season with an inferior defensive front and a dysfunctional coaching staff. But he still has a lot to prove. If he thinks he's worth one of those mega-deals, he has to prove it on the field. By slapping a tag on Clements, the Bills can buy time to work out a long-term deal. But they'll be dealing from strength and shouldn't overpay.