Franchise tag deadline is 4 p.m. today

It seems unlikely that the Redskins would use the franchise tag on Fred Davis for a second consecutive season. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Redskins and the rest of the NFL have until 4 p.m. today to use the franchise tag on a player due to hit the free agent market. As of Monday morning, it didn’t appear likely that Washington would do so.

The Redskins used the  franchise tag on tight end Fred Davis last season, awarding him a one-year contract worth $5.4 million. Davis, who is rehabilitating from surgery to repair a torn left Achilles’ tendon, is up for a new contract, but the Redskins seem content to avoid using the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive year.

The Redskins have another 18 players with expiring contracts, but given their limited resources as they work to get under the salary cap and create some room for free agent signings, it doesn’t appear that they will use the tag on any of those players either.

People with knowledge of the situation said Washington hasn’t given any indication it  would use the franchise tag designation this season.

The NFL’s free agent negotiation period begins Saturday, and teams are allowed to sign players from other teams any time after 4 p.m. March 12. The Redskins are permitted to strike deals with any of their own players before then.

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Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Mark Maske · March 1, 2013