MLB Rey Maualuga
Maualuga is a good linebacker, but the linebacker franchise tag value (8.8 million in 2012) is inflated by the salaries of rush linebackers and thus non-rush linebackers rarely get tagged. After an offseason in which Curtis Lofton, Stephen Tulloch, and David Hawthorne got 27.5 million, 25.5 million, and 19 million respectively over 5 years, the Bengals are unlikely to commit 8.8 million to Maualuga over just one season.
Likelihood: Very unlikely
P Kevin Huber
Punters and kickers are the most often franchised because the franchise tag values for them are very cheap and franchising them makes a lot more sense than giving them a long term deal. Huber has just a 43.3 yards per punt average in his career though, so he’ll need a career best year to prove he’s worth being franchised.
K Mike Nugent
Nugent is a good kicker and received the franchise tag this offseason, meaning he’d be owed at least 3.1848 million if he were to be franchised again. There is some precedent for this type of thing though, especially with kickers and punters, and if Nugent, a career 80.9% kicker, nails 86.8% again, the Bengals might slap him with the tag for the 2nd straight season, especially since they don’t really have anyone better to tag.
Likelihood: Somewhat likely