Posted by Will Brinson
The Jaguars are in the midst of working on a long-term deal with 2010 breakout Marcedes Lewis.
But if they can't get one done by Thursday, they'll likely be hitting the tight end with the franchise tag, per Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union.
It's apparently "unlikely" that the two sides will reach a deal by Thursday's franchise tag deadline, and Ganguli cites sources that believe the Jaguars are "not especially optimistic a deal will get done" in time to utilize the franchise tag elsewhere.
Although Lewis doesn't sound particularly optimistic about being tagged either.
"That's like a Catch-22 because you can look at it two ways. OK, they franchised me so they want to keep me here to play," Lewis said per Ganguli. "But then if that was the case, then why not just sign me to a long-term deal? You don't know what to think. At that point, you don't know how the feel about you.
"Why one year? That's a sticky situation right there. At the same time, I don't have no control over that. I'm going to continue to get better."
Lewis, a first-rounder out of UCLA, finally broke out in his fifth season with the Jaguars last year, as he piled up 700 yards and 10 touchdowns along with 58 catches, all by far career highs.
If he's franchised, he'll make more than $7 million in 2011, but the Jags intent here seems to be that the tag simply provides insurances that they'll be able to get him signed to a long-term deal before the season starts.
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