New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford received the franchise tag from the team today (via ESPN New York).
Weatherford is in a rare company. Only Michael Koenen (2009) and Todd Sauerbrun (2003) have received the franchise tag as punters. Weatherford is one of 20 Giants unrestricted free agents.
Weatherford and the Giants waited until after the Super Bowl to resume contract negotiations and the franchise tag move gives both sides more time to negotiate. Weatherford became indispensable to the Giants down the stretch last season. During the regular season, 30.5 percent of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line. In the Super Bowl, three of Weatherford's four punts landed inside the Patriots' 10-yard line.
If Weatherford re-signs with New York, he will get a contract worth the average of the highest five punter salaries. If Weatherford goes to another team, the Giants will receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.
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