Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said that despite using the franchise tag on Fred Davis on March 2, the team still aims to work out a long-term deal with the fifth-year tight end.

Without a deal, Davis — Washington’s most dynamic playmaker last season — would have become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday. So the Redskins used the franchise tag on him, ensuring that they retained his rights, and locking up Davis to a guaranteed one-year salary of just more than $5 million. Any team wishing to sign the USC product away from Washington would have to give the Redskins two first-round draft picks in return.

Teams can continue to negotiate long-term deals despite the franchise tag, and Allen said the Redskins are doing just that.

“We franchised Fred because he was our most valuable free agent, who we couldn’t get a deal done with,” Allen said Saturday evening. “We’re hoping to get a deal done with him – a longer-term deal – and we’ll see what happens in the future.”

Davis recorded a career-high 59 receptions for 796 yards, and also had three touchdowns. But he missed the final four games of the season while suspended for failing multiple drug tests.

Following the suspension, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said he still believed in Davis, and that the player had changed his ways.

Allen also said that the team remains in negotiations with inside linebacker London Fletcher, their team captain and leading tackler. Fletcher could hit the open market on Tuesday without a new contract.

“I’ve had discussions with his agent over the last month or two,” Allen said. “We’ll see what happens. I’m not going hide the fact that we love London. We hope he’s a Redskin.”