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TWENTYMAN: How franchise tag decisions will affect free agency

The franchise tag deadline has come and gone, and the Detroit Lions didn't use their tag for a second consecutive season. The last time the Lions used their tag was in 2018 on defensive end Ziggy Ansah.

There were 14 franchise tags and one transition tag dished out by teams this offseason, which will have an impact on free agency when it officially begins on Wednesday. The league is currently in the legal tampering window, a period during which all pending unrestricted free agents are allowed to enter preliminary negotiations with other organizations, but contracts can't be finalized until 4 p.m. Wednesday at the official start of the new league year.

The 14 tags issued this year were the most since 21 were placed on players by teams in 2012. There were six tags issued last offseason.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed their franchise tag on pass rusher Shaq Barrett, who led the NFL last season with 19.5 sacks.

Last year's leading rusher, Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, was tagged by the Titans.

The Lions are likely in the market for defensive line help in free agency, but a number of teams have used their tag on edge rushers and defensive tackles. That list includes Kansas City defensive tackle Chris Jones, New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams, Baltimore outside linebacker Matthew Judon, Pittsburgh outside linebacker Bud Dupree and Jacksonville edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green, Denver safety Justin Simmons, Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry, Minnesota safety Anthony Harris, New England guard Joe Thuney and Washington guard Brandon Scherff were also tagged by their respective teams.

The Arizona Cardinals placed the transition tag on running back Kenyan Drake. The transition tag guarantees the Cardinals the right of first refusal to match any offer Drake may make with another club.

Fourteen of the 15 players tagged before Monday's deadline were on's list of the top 25 free agents.

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