Oakland Raiders: Why the Raiders Should Use the Franchise Tag on Tyvon Branch
David Xaviel – Feb 20, 2012Before I started to write this, I did not know what I would say. How would I write an article on something that seems utterly simple?
I have pondered this now for several days.
It seems to me that it is painfully obvious that the Oakland Raiders should use the franchise tag on safety Tyvon Branch.
Nothing personal against running-back Michael Bush, but Branch is the best defensive back currently on the roster for the Raiders, while Bush is expected to be a backup when Darren McFadden returns.
Plus, running-backs are not in demand by NFL teams these days.
I hate to use that as a point against Bush because I think that the value of running backs has been arbitrarily devalued by a rulebook that is designed to protect the job security of quarterbacks, but I also must address the "reality" of the situation.
Free agents such as Ryan Grant of Green Bay will also be available to sign, in the event that Bush signs elsewhere.
Branch, meanwhile, is the best strong safety that is slated to be a free agent.
Is it possible to overstate the importance of a player that since 2009 has tallied over 100 tackles in each season?
Branch has also played in every game since 2009. For a team that led the NFL in penalties in 2011, Branch was penalized only once all season.
One strong statistic for the Raiders passing defense was that opposing quarterbacks completed only 53.9 percent of their passes; third best in 2011. Branch was key part of that.
The numbers speak volumes.
The Raiders should use the franchise tag on Tyvon Branch.
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