The Falcons may not be planning to use the franchise tag, but there are plenty of NFL teams who are only too eager to dive right in.
Thus far, five teams have used the tag, taking five quality players off the market entirely. These are guys the Falcons may have been interested in these guys for the right price, but alas. That's done now.
Here's the list:
- Buffalo Bills, S Jairus Byrd
- Indianapolis Colts, P Pat McAfee
- Denver Broncos, T Ryan Clady
- Chicago Bears, DT Henry Melton
- Cincinnati Bengals, DE Michael Johnson
- And the Miami Dolphins just used it on DT Randy Starks
Obviously, the ones we care most about are Clady, Melton and Johnson. All three were big name free agents at their positions, and all three are potential positions of need for the Falcons. With Beatty and Clady off the market, Sam Baker has suddenly become a much more attractive option.
Jared Cook is on the verge of being the seventh, taking one of the most intriguing tight ends off the market, as well.
Stay tuned! We'll update with more as they come in.