Pats' Wilfork among six players to receive franchise tag

Oakland defensive end Richard Seymour and New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork were among six players who received the franchise tag from their teams by Thursday's deadline.

Kickers Olindo Mare of Seattle and Jeff Reed of Pittsburgh, Green Bay defensive tackle Ryan Pickett, and San Francisco defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin also were on the list.

Seymour was the only one to be designated an exclusive franchise player. That means he cannot negotiate with other teams when free agency starts next month. Seymour will be guaranteed at least $12.398 million, which is the average salary earned last year by the five highest-paid defensive ends in the league.

Seymour is working on a long-term deal with the Raiders, and reached out to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora via text Wednesday to say that the tag was just "part of the process."

The remaining five players can negotiate with other teams. Their current teams have the right to match any offer or get two first-round draft picks as compensation.

La Canfora reported earlier this week that Pickett expected the franchise tag, but both sides are discussing a long-term deal and will continue to do so. Pickett was one of three defensive tackles to receive the tag.

Patriots owner Robert Craft told Comcast Sports New England that a deal with Wilfork is close.

"Vince was a priority. And we worked very hard and I think both sides have worked hard and I think we're close and I hope we close something but in the end, he was our priority, the first priority," Kraft said. "We have a number of other deals we've got to do. We're going about building our team and I hope in this process we get to close this out. I know he's a very important part of our team and I think we made an offer that can hopefully get it done."

Niners general manager Scot McCloughan said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine that it is "50-50 right now" that the team will be able to work out a long-term deal with Franklin.

The Steelers placed the tag on Reed Thursday after reaching a deal with DT Casey Hampton earlier in the day. Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert did say that the club is looking at reaching a long-term deal with Reed.

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.

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