It comes as no surprise but the deadline to use the franchise tag has come and gone and the Detroit Lions have not placed the tag on any of their free agents.
Cliff Avril received and played under the franchise tag in 2012 but didn’t play at a level that would warrant a salary equal to 120% of what he made last year. Chris Houston and Louis Delmas are the only others that might have been considered but both would be due large increases over their 2012 salary and not locking them in with the franchise tag leaves the Lions with the most possible flexibility with their salary cap situation.
So, what’s next? The Lions will likely stay in contact with the representatives of the free agents they would like to retain – most notably Avril, Delmas and Houston. The Lions still have until March 9 before other teams can contact agents of Lions set to hit the open market when the free agency period officially opens on March 12.