Logan Mankins & the franchise tag

DALLAS -- Things could get interesting when it comes to the Patriots, Logan Mankins, and the potential use of the franchise tag.

Mankins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. The NFL has informed teams it will be business as usual in terms of being able to use the franchise tag, starting Feb. 10, and Mankins is a prime candidate to receive it.

The NFL Players Association sees the issue differently.

"Our position is that you can franchise anyone you want by whatever date you want, but if there is no CBA, the franchise tags are meaningless," Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said today at the NFLPA's annual news conference.

The current CBA expires March 4, and Smith said the NFLPA has sent a letter to agents today advising them of how the players' association views the tags.

This is one the many areas of disagreement between owners and players, with a player like Mankins potentially right in the middle of it.