Franchise tagged players having a rough season
Spencer may be the third player who has been tagged by the franchise and has developed high possibility of sitting out the entire season after surgery at just week 3 of the regular NFL season. Henry Melton, who plays defensive tackle for the Bears tore his ACL in their game against the Steelers and tackle Ryan Clady of Denver Broncos has been put on the injured reserve due to a Lisfranc injury sustained during week 2 against the New York Giants.
The Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branded Albert sustained a sprained shoulder against the Dallas Cowboys and was out at week two into the regular season. He will be out of action for a while until the injury heals. The Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd is suffering from a plantar fasciitis in his foot and has not played yet since the season started, although he may return as chances of recovery are increasing.
After counting out the injured or out of season, there are but three franchise tagged players left who are fit to play: defensive end Michael Johnson of Cincinnati Bengals, punter Pat McAfee of Indianapolis Colts and defensive tackle Randy Starks of Miami Dolphins. This season has not been gracious for most players who have been tagged by their franchises.
Franchise tagging a player is a very risky gamble for any franchise. If in the short run, if the player fails to meet up to the prospects expected from him, the money is wasted. In the long run, it is safe to tag because it saves the team from making large bids for the future on players whose performance may vary and are untested.
For the players being tagged, it is both good and bad. It all adds to the resume as players failing to meet the expectations have a bad reputation and this can lead to unstable careers. But it has its perks of giving quite a sum of cash to the player.