The Detroit Lions, and the NFL’s 31 other teams, have until 4 p.m. today to decide whether or not to use the franchise tag.
The likelihood the Lions would do so has been considered slim to this point and there is little reason to change the outlook with the deadline fast approaching.
No surprise, but Lions are not expected to use franchise tag today. Still in talks with Pettigrew, Young & Mathis, only pending FA starters
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 3, 2014
None of the three will command a contract on par with the one-year tender due to them on the franchise tag. So while the Lions are reportedly in talks with representatives of Brandon Pettigrew, Willie Young and Rashean Mathis, the franchise tag can’t be used as leverage to coax out a long-term deal.
That being the case, there isn’t much incentive for any of the Lions’ three starters set to become free agents to reach a new deal with the club before having the chance to hit the open market. With a number of teams with hoards of cash to spend to meet minimum salary cap levels, someone might get desperate.