....with all this talk about the Franchise tag, what about this as an alternative. Under this rule there would still be a Franchise tag. Only now instead of forcing the team that signs the player to give up 2 first round draft choices, the team that loses the franchise player would get 2 first round players from the league. The team would also have the right of first refusal and the league would outlaw poison pills. So, for example a team offers Samuel the deal he wants. The Pats have 48 hours to match the financial sections of the contract. If they don't they would be awarded 2 first round picks in the next draft. The first would would be after the 16th pick, the second after the 32nd. A team could opt to take ONE of the 2 picks in the next year. If more than one franchise players is signed away, then the team with the worse record would get the pick after 16 and then the team withd the better record would go next. The same would occur after the 32nd pick. So what we have done here is make it fairer for everyone. The market would be freer and more active since the team who wants to sign a franchised player wouldn't be force to give up THEIR picks. The team that loses the player knows its going to get 2 great picks, one in the middle of the first round and one at the end of the first round. I don't think it would screw up the draft. Even in a freer market, I doubt that more than 2 or 3 "franchised" players would be signed in any year. Though I have to admit it would suck to have the #17 pick in the draft. At any rate, I think this is a decent compromise and makes the franchise tag more palatable for the teams. Feel free to fine tune, add sections, or trash and dismiss this idea.