With the deadline for teams to use the franchise tag looming, organizations are making an effort to seal their best players that could leave for free agency, allowing more time to either negotiate a long-term contract or allow the team time to replace the player with someone equally as talented. Nine players have been franchised by their respective teams through Tuesday.
Make that 10.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter "reports" that the Cleveland Browns franchised their place kicker Phil Dawson on Tuesday. According to PFW, the franchise option was mostly used because both sides "struggled" to come to an agreement on a long-term deal last season.
Of the 10 teams that used their franchise tag, three have come from the AFC North. Pittsburgh franchised linebacker LaMarr Woodley. Baltimore franchised Haloti Ngata.
The Bengals aren't expected to use their franchise tag, even though Johnathan Joseph will enter free agency of both sides can't come to an agreement on a long-term deal.