The start of NFL free agency is just over a week away, but several of the big-name players scheduled to hit the market will do so with the franchise tag applied to them. Keep track here for the latest news and rumors surrounding who is getting the tag, and who will be able to hit unrestricted free agency.
The Denver Broncos have officially applied the franchise tag to Demaryius Thomas, using the non-exclusive version -- this allows other teams to sign Thomas, but at great cost.
Dallas also applied the franchise tag on Dez Bryant, which had been expected since Friday. This past season, Bryant caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and a Cowboys single-season record 16 touchdown catches.
The biggest surprise of the day came when the Miami Dolphins applied the transition tag on tight end Charles Clay. He was thought to be a lock for free agency, as Clay didn't seem worthy of that kind of salary for one season. The transition tag for Clay will amount to $7.071 million for the 2015 season as part of the salary cap being set at $143.28 million.
Clay finished third on the team with 58 receptions for 605 yards this past season.
Dallas WR Dez Bryant
Denver WR DeMaryius Thomas
Kansas City OLB Justin Houston
NY Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul
New England PK Stephen Gostkowski
Miami TE Charles Clay
However, Houston won't be signing his one-year tender worth $13 million anytime soon. It's a very fair deal for a player who has emerged as a truly elite edge defender, leading the league in sacks with 22 last season, just a half-sack short of Michael Strahan's NFL record.
Still, he wants a long-term deal, and it doesn't appear the two sides are any closer to a long-term deal than they were when this past season ended.
Franchising Suh would have cost the Lions $26.7 million this year, so it's no surprise that wasn't an option for them. If there's no long-term deal with Detroit in place by March 10, Suh will hit the open market as the NFL's No. 1 free agent.
The wide receiver tag is expected to be worth $13 million after the Broncos offered Demaryius a deal worth $13 million last summer, but he was "seeking something north of $15 million." In 2014, he then went on to break Denver's franchise record for receiving yards, recording 1,619 yards on 111 caches with 11 scores.