Ravens Do Not Use Franchise Tag

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The deadline to use the franchise tag came and went without the Ravens pulling the trigger.

Baltimore did not use the franchise tag on any of its pending unrestricted free agents, including wide receiver Torrey Smith and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee.

Smith and McPhee are expected to get the biggest deals of the Ravens' free agents, but it wasn't expected that Baltimore would use the tag on either.

The franchise tag ensures the player will remain with his team for another year, but at the average of the top five salaries at his position. It would have cost $12.8 million to tag Smith as a wide receiver and $13.2 million to tag McPhee as a linebacker.

It doesn't necessarily mean that either player will hit the open market or be gone next season, however. The Ravens could still work out a deal with them before free agency opens on March 10, or even re-sign them afterwards.

The Ravens have used the franchise tag seven times before. They used it on offensive lineman Wally Williams in 1998, cornerback Chris McAlister in 2003 and 2004, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs in 2008 and 2009, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata in 2011 and running back Ray Rice in 2012.

The following players were given the franchise tag today: Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski and Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

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