The window for teams to use their franchise tag on pending free agents opens today and extends until March 4.
For the Patriots, three candidates are the most likely bets to come under consideration for the tag: wide receiver Wes Welker (who was tagged in 2012), cornerback Aqib Talib, and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer.
With a two-week window to declare a franchise player, the Patriots aren't necessarily in any rush to make a decision. We recently laid out the financial component to franchising each of the aforementioned players, with Welker's price tag coming in at $11.4 million, Talib's at $10.668 and Vollmer's at $9.66 million.
The team could also opt to franchise one of its other unrestricted free agents, though no obvious candidates come to mind.
NFL teams aren't required to use the franchise tag, and the Patriots may opt to pass on the opportunity altogether. But with the window to use it upon us, a decision could come at any time.
We put the question out to you: Should the Patriots use the franchise tag? And if so, which player should it be used on? Chime in below in the comments section and vote in the poll as well.