As expected, the franchise tag deadline came and went without the Chiefs placing the tag on of the team’s current unrestricted free agents.
The Chiefs used the franchise tag on offensive tackle Branden Albert last season. Placing the tag on Albert for the second consecutive year would have meant at least a 20 percent increase in pay for the 2014-2015 season.
There were four teams that used the franchise tag, headlined by the New Orleans Saints who franchised tight end Jimmy Graham. The others were the Carolina Panthers on defensive end Greg Hardy, the Washington Redskins on outside linebacker Brian Orakpo and the Jets who used the tag on kicker Nick Folk. Teams that use the franchise tag on a player agree to pay said player the average of the top five salaries at the given position on a one-year contract. The other option for teams, the transition tag, was used by the Cleveland Browns on center Alex Mack and the Steelers on outside linebacker Jason Worilds. The difference between the two tags is simple: the team that used the franchise tag receives two future first-round picks if another team signs one the player to a long-term contract. Under the transition tag, the original team does not receive draft pick compensation. Instead, they only have the option to match the potential long-term contract offer.
Players that were not tagged that may be of interest for the Chiefs in free agency include the Buffalo Bills’ safety Jairyus Byrd, the Colts cornerback Vontae Davis and the Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Lamarr Houston. It remains to be seen if the Chiefs will be able to free up enough cap room to sign one of the aforementioned marquee name free agents.