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.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune