Franchise/transition tags: Patriots

Monday marks the first day NFL teams can use the franchise/transition tag, and cornerback Aqib Talib and receiver Julian Edelman are the team's two top free agents.

Would the Patriots consider using the franchise tag on them?

A franchise tag on either player would cost approximately $11 million on a one-year deal, making it highly unlikely the team does.

There is one scenario, however, in which a tag wouldn't be completely shocking.

In 2010, the Patriots used the franchise tag on defensive tackle Vince Wilfork as a vehicle to buy more time in negotiations on a long-term extension. At that point, the Patriots and Wilfork had reached the red zone in contract talks and just needed a little more time to push the deal across the goal line.

The Patriots tagged Wilfork to protect their asset, both sides played nice with public statements and a long-term deal eventually got done.

We could envision that type of scenario with Talib. Not so much Edelman.

But, on the whole, we'd call it more of a long shot.