We've seen the Colts use the franchise tag on players like Dwight Freeney only to work out a long-term deal before the start of camp. However, with Gary Brackett, the Colts will not use such a strategy:
Team president Bill Polian said Wednesday that it's unlikely that the team will use the restriction to hold linebacker Gary Brackett in place.
"We still have about 24 hours to decide what we want to do and we continue to talk," Polian said, per the Associated Press. "I can't tell you what we'll do one way or the other. But as far as the franchise tag, I would think that we would not use that."
The problem is that the franchise tag requires the team using it to offer the player a one-year deal with a salary equal to the average compensation of the five highest-paid players in the league from 2009. For linebackers, the 2010 number is $9.68 million.
Brackett's agent previously has said that Brackett hopes to retire as a Colt.
Brackett will likely get re-signed before March 5th. If he isn't re-signed, Brackett should give serious thought to firing his agent. The Colts are the only place where a 30-year-old Brackett can start at MLB and have an impact on a winning team. The Colts have all the leverage here and they do not have a reputation for being "cheap" with players. So, it's a pretty safe bet Gary will be in blue next season.