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Rudi Hit With The Franchise Tag Today

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Rudi Hit With The Franchise Tag Today

Postby DUKE » Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:00 pm

Bengals franchise Rudi
2/15/2005 - 2:25 p.m.

The Bengals gave running back Rudi Johnson the franchise tag on Tuesday. (Bengals photo)
As expected, the Bengals made running back Rudi Johnson their franchise player Tuesday in effectively taking him off the free-agent market.

It remains to be seen if Johnson is going to follow through on his threat to sit out the season if the Bengals gave him the franchise tag by tendering him a one-year offer of $6.3 million that is the average of the top five paid running backs in the NFL. The word out of Hawaii, where Johnson led the AFC in rushing in Sunday’s Pro Bowl, is that Johnson plans to sign the tender. But before the Bengals made the announcement Tuesday, Johnson agent Peter Schaffer said they would wait to make a call if the Bengals actually went ahead and franchised him.

They did because Johnson becomes an unrestricted free agent March 2. Now that he is franchised, the Bengals can retain Johnson by matching any offer sheet. If the Bengals didn’t match, the team getting Johnson would have to give the Bengals first-round draft choices in 2005 and 2006.

Johnson wants a long-term deal, but the sides appear to be far apart. Schaffer said Tuesday he has responded to the Bengals’ proposal of last month and that “the ball is in their court.” The Bengals hit the ball back with the franchise tag after a season in which Johnson broke Corey Dillon’s club season rushing record with 1,454 yards. In his 21 NFL starts, Johnson has gained 2,206 yards.

“This is the most responsible move we can make in pursuit of our goal to give our fans a playoff season and a run for the Super Bowl in 2005,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis in a news release. “The franchise option is designed to help a team retain the rights to a top player, and the players union supports it because it guarantees that player a salary commensurate with what he has accomplished. We will continue to work with Rudi and his representatives for the possibility of a longer-term contract.”

If the Bengals can’t get a long-term deal with Johnson before March 16, the sides can’t talk about a multi-year contract again until July 15.
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Postby dave416 » Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:57 pm

This may be interpreted as a bad decision, and it may not be popular with Rudi, but this may not be a bad decision. This isn't the end of the story. They could be buying time to resign him to a long term deal, or they could have done it to get some compensation (at least a draft pick) from the team he goes. We will see what the Bengals' course of action is from here.
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Postby no1cowboysfan » Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:28 pm

yeah... with Rudi's apparent success the past two years, it seems like the Bengals are going to trade him away, and make like bandits doing it.

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Postby Bukoski77 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:49 am

With no disrespect to Rudi, I would love it if we were to get a 1st round pick in 2005 and 2006 for him.

The coaching staff likes and has alot of optimism with Chriss Perry, and the running back market is deep as well. Heck, the overall RB talent in the NFL is about as good and deep as I have ever seen it.

All in all I think this is a low risk heads up move by the Bengals.

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Now lets just hoped we dont get nailed with a brutal schedule like last year.
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