Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14
A quick look at the 2013 NFL Franchise Tag values will tell you a few things about the current state of football and how it has transitioned permanently into a pass driven league. The top five valued tags (in millions) are quarterbacks at $14.642, followed by defensive ends at $10.984, cornerbacks at $10.668, wide receivers at $10.357, and offensive line at $9.660. Each of those position groups has a direct impact on the passing game. A more in-depth look at the offensive line franchise tag reveals that left tackle is the highest paid position along the offensive line, being home to the six top paid lineman. Owners have placed a premium on players who have a direct effect on the passing game: The passer, the pass rusher, the receiver, the cover corner, and the player who has the ability to stop the pass rusher from disrupting the flow of the offense. These are the types of players that have the most value in today’s NFL. Injuries have plagued the defense this season worse than in recent years, but the New England Patriots can thank 2012 first-round picks Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower for maintaining a high level of play. With Jerod Mayo out for the year due to a torn pectoral muscle Hightower is now going to be calling the defense, which is no small task in a Belichick style defense. While Hightower handles his new duties Jones only needs to worry about continuing to do what he was drafted to do, get to the quarterback.     With 6.5 sacks through the first eight games Jones is well on his way to a breakout season. On pace for the highest sack total in the Belichick era since Mike Vrabel finished the 2007 season with 12.5 sacks, he continues to earn respect throughout the league as a force off the edge. The luxury of a pure pass rusher changes the way a defense can attack. Jones, who plays mainly at right defensive end, can attack the quarterback and collapse the pocket with good consistency. Nearly any NFL caliber quarterback can read a defense and make the right throw when sitting comfortably in the pocket. For a defensive line that was built from the inside with Wilfork as the anchor, things quickly changed. Jones must be expected to command respect on the outside to make life easier for rookie defensive tackles Chris Jones and Joe Vellano. At the midway point of the season Jones is showing how he can change a game through his presence alone. In week eight against the division rival Miami Dolphins the defensive unit brought an attitude and energy that has been festering underneath the surface all season. In a game where Jones did not manage a sack, he did block a field goal. Just another example of the different ways he can change a game. With a record of 6-2 and heading into the second half of an NFL season that is a physical and mental grind it is hard to define this Patriots team. In a way, that is comforting.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser


Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.