Starting now, NFL teams can play tag for the next 15 days.
Clubs can apply the franchise tag – or the seldom used transition tag – to one player on their roster. Thus begins the game of cat and mouse for some of the league’s elite players.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is the most high-profile player that is expected to be tagged absent a multi-year contract before the March 4 deadline. Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady is also expected to be tagged to prevent him from departing via free agency.
A record 21 players were secured with the franchise tag last season, most notably New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. He eventually cashed in with a long-term deal. Twelve of the 21 players got multi-year contracts with nine eventually playing on one-year tenders.
So, sit back and enjoy the show.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
DEC 10 Len Pasquarelli
With the way it looks in Washington, owner Daniel Snyder will soon be hiring his fifth head coach since buying the team.
DEC 09 Jason Cole
Are the Washington Redskins headed for yet another coaching change?
DEC 06 Joel Corry
An inside look at the three NFL teams with the most dead money.