The Biggest Questions Remaining Around NFL Franchise Tags

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The Biggest Questions Remaining Around NFL Franchise Tags
Bob Leverone/Associated Press
Is defensive end Greg Hardy on Carolina's mind in terms of the franchise tag?

Get ready for a different kind of tag sale.

While so much focus of the NFL will be on the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Feb. 17 marks the day that teams can designate possible free agents as franchise or transition players.

It’s the franchise designation that draws the real attention (the transition tag is rarely used anymore). However, this game of tag requires no slap of the hand but rather the eventual wave of a pen. In essence, the franchise tag gives teams an insurance policy that they will have some additional time to work out a long-term deal with one of their better players.

Each club has two weeks to decide whether it wants to use the tag or not (deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Monday, March 3) and can use it only once.

Over the last two seasons, we have seen a dramatic difference in usage by the 32 teams. A year ago, eight players were given the franchise tag, a stark contrast to the record 21 performers who were franchised in 2012.

So, what about 2014? Everyone from Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated to Andrew Cohen of Over the Cap has some thoughts.

Obviously, we do as well.

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