The franchise tag deadline has come and gone and to no one’s surprise, the Detroit Lions passed on franchising any of their would-be free agents.
General manager Martin Mayhew told local reporters twice this offseason that he didn’t plan on using the tag. He was true to his word.
“We’re not going to franchise anybody,” Mayhew said. “It doesn’t make sense for us right now.”
Last year, the Lions placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril, which paid him $10.6 million in 2012. The team would have had to pay the young defensive end upwards of $12.7 million, or 120 percent of last year’s salary, if they wished to tag him again.
Two other potential franchise tag candidates for the Lions would have been safety Louis Delmas ($6.91 million) and cornerback Chris Houston ($10.85), but it simply didn’t make sense financially for the Lions.
Eight teams did place the franchise tag on a player prior to Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline:
Buffalo Bills — Safety Jairus Byrd.
Chicago Bears – Defensive tackle Henry Melton
Cincinnati Bengals – Defensive end Michael Johnson
Dallas Cowboys — Linebacker Anthony Spencer
Denver Broncos – Offensive tackle Ryan Clady
Indianapolis Colts — Punter Pat McAfee
Kansas City Chiefs – Offensive tackle Branden Albert
Miami Dolphins – Defensive tackle Randy Starks
Tags: Chris Houston, Cliff Avril, Louis Delmas
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