The 2013 deadline for using a franchise tag has come and gone. Eight NFL teams used their franchise tag this off-season: the Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.
The Houston Texans surprisingly did not use their franchise tag this year, which shocked many people as there was a lot of talk of safety Glover Quin receiving a franchise tag. The choice to not to do most likely was made because of salary cap issues. A franchise tag would have guaranteed Quin a one-year contract worth $6.916 million, but Houston is currently only $7.6 million under the $123 million salary cap and needs to make smart moves this off-season to save as much money as possible.
Because Houston did not use their franchise tag on any of their players, all current unrestricted free agents will be open to test the free agent market. including key players such as LB Connor Barwin, FB James Casey, NT Shaun Cody and RB Justin Forsett, who will all be top priorities for Houston this off-season.
Houston has only used their franchise tag once in their brief 11-year history was in 2009, on cornerback Dunta Robinson, who left Houston for the Atlanta Falcons the following off-season. Houston is currently working on contract negotiations for Quin and Barwin.
As I’ve said before, the franchise tag would have been the smart move on Quin. But if they work out a long-term deal worth around $5 million a year, then maybe the decision to not place the franchise tag on him, or any other player for that matter, may not have been such a bad decision for the Texans.