The Indianapolis Colts have placed the franchise tag on defensive end Robert Mathis, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The application of the franchise tag in this instance could mean more in terms of buying time than in some instances where the sides are far apart in talks. The report indicated that Mathis and the Colts are working on a long-term agreement and have until July 15 to do so, under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement.

A report from NFL.com said the two sides had already agreed upon a new contract, but the tag - worth $10.6 million - was applied to Mathis in order to allow time for the Colts and Mathis' agent to finalize the deal.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com