The Detroit Lions aren't planning to use the franchise tag this year. They don't feel any of their free agents are worth spending the money that comes along with using the franchise tag, so they are going in a different direction this time around.
Two teams that have decided to use the franchise tag are the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. The Bills announced on Friday afternoon that safety Jairus Byrd has been franchised. The Bengals haven't announced their franchise tag designation yet, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that defensive end Michael Johnson is going to get it.
With Byrd receiving the franchise tag, he will not be an option for the Lions when free agency opens. It was unlikely that he was a realistic option even before Friday, but he was someone who couldn't be ruled out given the Lions' need for talent and depth at safety.
Johnson getting the franchise tag means that there will be one fewer big-name defensive end available when free agency opens. This is good news for Cliff Avril, who is hoping to get a big contract when he hits the open market.
One other piece of franchise tag news: The Indianapolis Colts have decided to use their franchise tag on punter Pat McAfee.