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Historically, John & Pete do not use the Franchise Tag on their players. They have used the tag once; on K Olindo Mare in their first year taking over control of the team.
The best candidate for the Franchise Tag this year will be DE Frank Clark.
The opening day to designate a Franchise player is 2/19.
Last day to designate a Franchise player is 3/5.
Free Agency negotiations starts up on 3/11.
Exclusive Free Agency/Restricted Free Agency options are submitted by 3/13.
Unsigned players become Unrestricted Free Agents at 4:00 PM EST on 3/13.
Stupid on all accounts; players have to protect themselves from their stupid selves and the NFL should get over itself.
Initial reports are that this was not a pattern and he's been a model college player. The NFL is going to get a lot of flack for this and a lot of coaches will tell them they will think it's stupid.
IF the NFL has more information they better do a good job of leaking it to save face.