The Colts placed the franchise tag on QB Peyton Manning, guaranteeing him around $23 million for 2011.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen first reported the move, and Colts owner Jim Irsay confirmed it via his Twitter, writing, "We have placed the Franchise Tag on Peyton while we continue to negotiate a long-term deal."
The 11-time Pro Bowler and the team that drafted him first overall in 1998 will use the franchise tag to work on a new deal. Eagles QB Michael Vick, Ravens NT Haloti Ngata, Jets LB David Harris, Patriots OLG Logan Mankins and Chargers WR Vincent Jackson have all been tagged.
Manning led the league in completions and attempts in 2010 (both were career highs), throwing 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions while working with an injury-plagued offense.
The NFL Players Association has said it believes the franchise tag cannot be used because there is no Collective Bargaining Agreement set for 2011 yet, but the league advised teams to go ahead and tag players as usual since the current CBA does not expire until March 3.
The way we see it
It had been expected that Manning would get the tag so that the two sides could have more time to put together a long-term deal similar to the one the Patriots gave Tom Brady. Manning isn't going anywhere, and now he will have a guaranteed salary in place for 2011.