8 NFL players receive franchise tags

NEW YORK — The NFL deadline for placing franchise tags on players has passed, with only eight given the tag by their teams for next season.

Dallas linebacker/defensive end Anthony Spencer, Kansas City offensive tackle Branden Albert and Miami defensive tackle Randy Starks were the latest to be tagged on Monday.

The other tagged players are Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd, Chicago defensive tackle Henry Melton, Cincinnati defensive end Michael Johnson, Denver offensive tackle Ryan Clady and Indianapolis punter Pat McAfee.

All eight are non-exclusive franchise players.

With the non-exclusive tag, his team has the right to match any offer sheet, or get two first-round draft picks in return for allowing him to leave.

Both sides can continue to negotiate on a longer deal even after a franchise tag has been applied.

Last year, 21 players received the franchise tag.

Baltimore avoided using the franchise tag by re-signing quarterback Joe Flacco to a six-year, $120.6 million contract.

The free-agency signing period begins March 12.

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