CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: Dwayne Bowe #82 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches a pass in front of Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 4, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chiefs defeated the Bears 10-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The deadline to use the franchise tag is 4 p.m. Monday. Several teams have already applied the tag, and others are expected to soon follow suit.
The period during which NFL teams are allowed to use the franchise tag is winding down. Teams were able to start applying the tag on Feb. 20, and several teams have done so already. The deadline to apply the tag comes at 4 p.m. Monday.
Most teams don't have very hard decisions on the franchise tag, but a few do. The Saints, for example, already applied the tag to Drew Brees, which means Carl Nicks and Marques Colston are more likely to become free agents. The Chiefs are deciding between Dwayne Bowe and Brandon Carr (with Bowe more likely to receive it).
Other teams have worked out longterm deals with players, which will allow them to avoid using the tag. The Seahawks, for example, signed Marshawn Lynch to a four-year contract. He was likely to receive the tag had the two sides not come to a deal.
There could be a record number of franchise tags, because the formula used to determine the franchise tag number has changed, resulting in lower numbers for the franchise tag.
Here's a list of every team's free agent as we await free agency on March 13.