According to Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe, New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez won’t accept the franchise tag as a tight end next offseason. He’ll likely put up the argument that he’s more of a receiver then a tight end.
The franchise tag at the receiver position ($9.515 million) is almost double of what a tight end ($5.446 million) would receive this season.
Hernandez’s agent Blake Baratz did the same thing for Packers tight end Jermichael Finley this offseason and he got a new deal, even though we’re not sure if the move he made caused the Packers to work out a deal quicker.
“We looked very heavily into it,” Baratz said. “We did a full 50-page argument, which we firmly believed was a very sound argument. Now, whether we were going to win or not, I have no idea. And I don’t think the team did and the league certainly didn’t because it was unprecedented.
“You’re dealing with an independent arbitrator. I could see an arbitrator looking at it a lot of different ways. The team is going to argue it doesn’t matter where the guy lines up and what he does, he’s a tight end. Our argument was, when you make an argument on where they are lining up, what kind of stance they’re in, whether they’re running routes and the percentages that Jermichael was doing that. To me, that’s no different than if Wes Welker is in the slot or [Packers receiver] James Jones is in the slot.
“There’s some plays that were kind of in a category by itself, like if he’s lined up as a fullback. Who knows how somebody would look at that? But at the very least, we had a very sound argument.
“The team’s going to say he was a tight end in college, he sits in the tight end meeting room, and he’s a tight end in the media guide, and on websites he’s a tight end. That’s all great, but our argument was what’s the definition of a tight end? To us, says he plays tight to the end, which is the traditional definition.”