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Franchise Tag Period Ends; Free Agency Is Next

The 2012 NFL franchise tag period is officially over as of 3:00 p.m. (Arrowhead Time) today. The Kansas City Chiefs used their franchise tag, as did nearly two dozen other teams.

Here are a handful of the highlights from the free agency period...

Chiefs tag Dwayne Bowe. As expected. This likely means Brandon Carr will hit free agency, which is something we've been bracing for. How cool would it be if the Chiefs stunned us and signed Carr to a deal before March 13? Probably not gonna happen but we can dream.

No franchise tag for Vincent Jackson. Not a huge surprise but still interesting. He was one of those who normally would've been restricted but with the uncapped year in 2010 he was a restricted free agent. And then in 2011 he was given the tag. So this has been a long time coming for VJ.

No franchise tag for Matt Flynn. A lot of people thought the Packers would do something similar to what the Patriots did with Matt Cassel and franchise him before trading him. But, nope, they won't be doing that. Flynn will become a free agent, probably the No. 2 guy behind some quarterback out of Indianapolis who's likely to be a free agent.

Five kickers and a punter (!) receive the franchise tag. Steve Weatherford, punter for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, must be awfully good. He received the tag and will be in New York another year. Connor Barth, former Chiefs kicker, was also tagged by the Bucs.

21 players in all were tagged. That's a new record. The franchise tag numbers are down a little bit from previous years due to a tweak in how they're calculated. That's probably the reason you saw some more teams using it.

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