If he's allowed to hit the free agent market, New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks could become one of the highest-paid interior linemen in NFL history. As such, Nicks hopes to avoid the franchise tag, James Varney of The Times-Picayune reports.
The franchise tender for an offensive lineman is projected to be worth $9.447 million in fully guaranteed base salary in 2012.
"I think the tag is around $9.4 million and if you're going to do that you might as well give me a deal because it's not going to be that much a year," Nicks said. "If they tag me it's going to be more than I'd be paid on average so it doesn't make too much sense to me.
"I know initially I'll be upset and I'll be frustrated and I'll - I don't know. It's either I'll be mad with them and maybe just crybaby it out or I might just suck it up and hope for a long-term deal. I can't say now because it hasn't happened but knowing who I am I think I'll get over it and hope and pray we get a new deal done. We'll see, I guess."
A fifth-round pick out of Nebraska in 2008, the 6-foot-5, 343-pound Nicks has started 67 straight regular and post-season games for the Saints, earning two trips to the Pro Bowl after the last two seasons.
Nicks played last season under a one-year, $2.611 million restricted free agent tender.