Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was telling the truth when he said that he didn't plan on using the franchise tag this year. The deadline to apply the franchise tag was on Monday afternoon, and it came and went without any activity from the Lions.
This was the expectation simply because it didn't make sense for the Lions to use the franchise tag this year. There's no sense in tying up a bunch of money with someone like Cliff Avril, Chris Houston or Louis Delmas. I'm sure the Lions would like to retain all three of those free agents, but not at the cost of the franchise tag.
Eight teams did use the franchise tag this year. Here's the rundown:
- Buffalo Bills: S Jairus Byrd
- Chicago Bears: DT Henry Melton
- Cincinnati Bengals: DE Michael Johnson
- Dallas Cowboys: LB Anthony Spencer
- Denver Broncos: OT Ryan Clady
- Indianapolis Colts: P Pat McAfee
- Kansas City Chiefs: OT Branden Albert
- Miami Dolphins: DT Randy Starks
NFL free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 12.