Franchise tag roundup 2014: Eugene Monroe, Brian Orakpo among candidates to be tagged as deadline nears

Patrick Smith

With the 4 p.m. ET Monday deadline approaching, several teams remain torn over whether or not to use the franchise tag.

With the deadline for teams to use their franchise tag on Monday afternoon quickly approaching, the futures of top players like Jairus Byrd, Eugene Monroe and Brian Orakpo remain uncertain.

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Teams have until 4 p.m. ET Monday to use their tag. By doing so, a team locks in a player to a one-year deal and agrees to pay him a salary based on the average of the top five salaries at their respective position.

So far, only three teams have used the tag. The New Orleans Saints placed the tag on on tight end Jimmy Graham, the Carolina Panthers used the tag on defensive end Greg Hardy, and the New York Jets locked down kicker Nick Folk.

Here are the latest franchise tag rumors as of Monday morning, sorted by team.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens and left tackle Eugene Monroe aren't seeing eye to eye on a long-term deal, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. Whether they will choose to tag Monroe -- who is easily their top offseason priority -- remains unclear, but one source indicated to Wilson that the team was considering that possibility.

Buffalo Bills

Jairus Byrd reportedly turned down a lucrative deal last week and the latest report from ESPN says negotiations over a long-term contract have completely stalled. Byrd is not expected to be tagged, a move that would pay him $8.43 million in 2014.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are not expected to tag cornerback Vontae Davisaccording to Jason La Confora. They continue to pursue a long-term deal, and have until the beginning of free agency on March 11 to do so.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins reached a multi-year deal with Brent Grimes on Monday, ending speculation that they could tag the Pro Bowl cornerback. They will not tag defensive tackle Paul Soliaiaccording to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, which could stand as an indication he could be heading to free agency.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders will not use the tag on defensive end Lamarr Houstonsources have told Adam Caplan. That means he'll likely be hitting the open market on March 11. With Hardy locked up in Carolina, Houston figures to be one of the top defensive ends available.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks strongly considered placing the tag on kicker Steven Hauschka, but have decided against it, reports Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports. A tag would tie Hauschka with Folk as the league's highest paid kicker.

Defensive end Michael Bennett was talked about as a possible landing spot for the tag, but according to Pro Football Talk that will not be happening. Bennett played on a one-year, $5 million deal last year and led the team with 8.5 sacks.

Washington Redskins

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the Redskins were facing a "really close call" in their decision to tag linebacker Brian Orakpo. The team reportedly values him highly and wants to retain him, but also believes the cap space needed to keep him could be used to address other areas of need.

UPDATE: Orakpo has been tagged by the Redskins. He will receiver $11.455 million in 2014, all of which is guaranteed and will count against Washington's salary cap.

***

There are actually two types of tags: the exclusive and the non-exclusive. The exclusive tag immediately locks the player up, while the non-exclusive tag allows him to continue to negotiate with other teams. With the non-exclusive, the original team has the option of matching any offer sheet the player receives from another team. If they choose not to match and let him walk, they receive a hefty compensation, usually in the form of two first-round draft picks.

Because of it's restrictiveness, the exclusive tag comes with a higher price tag. It pays a player the average of the top five salaries at his position for the current year or 120 percent of his previous year's salary, whichever is higher. The non-exclusive pays the average of the top five salaries at his position for the previous five years or 120 percent of his previous year's salary, whichever is higher. Because it's cheaper and still allows protection in the form of compensation, the non-exclusive tag is the more popular option.

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