No franchise tags in NFC South

We’re past the deadline for franchise tags and the NFC South has collectively passed.

A year after a record 21 teams used the tag, only eight teams opted to use it this year and none were from the NFC South.

There was a thought that Tampa Bay might franchise defensive end Michael Bennett, but general manager Mark Dominik said at the scouting combine that the team didn’t plan to use the tag and he followed through. The team still has some time to negotiate with Bennett, but he may now want to test the open market.

Atlanta had some potential candidates for franchise tags in left tackle Sam Baker, strong safety William Moore and cornerback Brent Grimes. But the recent releases of Michael Turner, Dunta Robinson and John Abraham leaves the Falcons with enough cap space to re-sign their own free agents.

Carolina and New Orleans didn’t have anyone that quite rose to the level of a franchise tag.