The New York Giants have placed the franchise tag on punter Steve Weatherford, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports.
In his first season with the Giants, Weatherford had a gross average of 45.7 yards with a net average of 39.2 yards on 82 punts in 2011, with 25 punts placed inside the opponents' 20-yard line. Prior to joining the Giants, Weatherford punted for the New York Jets (2009-10), Jacksonville Jaguars (2008), Kansas City Chiefs (2008), and New Orleans Saints (2006-08).
The 29-year-old has a career average of 37.3 yards on 445 punts and has never had a punt blocked.
The franchise tag for a punter is the same as a kicker, which is projected to be worth $2.665 million in base salary. Weatherford becomes the third punter to receive the franchise tag, joining Michael Koenen (Atlanta Falcons, 2009) and Todd Sauerbrun (Carolina Panthers, 2003).