Franchise tags were flying around the NFL this afternoon, as teams locked up their top players prior to the start of the free agency period.
Of particular note to Cleveland Browns fans, the Green Bay Packers took another top left tackle off the market by assigning the franchise tag to offensive tackle Chad Clifton. Clifton joins Orlando Pace and Walter Jones as premier blockers who have been kept out of free agency by teams applying the tag. Both Jones and Pace are being tagged for the second straight year, earning each considerable raises. Making the situation even worse for teams seeking to upgrade at offensive tackle, the Kansas City Chiefs placed a transition tag on RT John Tait, allowing them to match offers.
Also receiving franchise tags today were S Donovan Darius (Jacksonville Jaguars) and CB Chris McAllister (Baltimore Ravens). Previously receiving the tag were QB Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts), LB Julius Peterson (San Francisco 49ers), DE Darren Howard (New Orleans Saints), and cornerback Charles Woodson (Oakland Raiders). Washington Redkins CB Champ Bailey was also tagged earlier in the week, although the Redskins are very publicly looking at trade opportunities for the outstanding defensive back.
Later this evening, BerniesInsiders.com will debut our exclusive free agent database. Information about tagged players is already in the database. Fans wishing to get a sneak preview of our latest gizmo can click here to get started.