NFL franchise tag 2014: Jimmy Graham, Greg Hardy among the players tagged

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Four NFL teams used their franchise tag by the deadline on Monday while a pair of others opted to use the transition tag. We round up everyone who was tagged and a few notable players who weren't.

The 4 p.m. ET NFL franchise tag deadline has come and gone on Monday and there were several players who received the special designation.

We'll start with the four players who did get tagged.

Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints

Graham was the most likely candidate in the league for the tag and was the first to receive one last Friday. The Saints allege that he's a tight end, which is how he's listed on their roster. But Graham and his agent are expected to file a grievance that he be tagged as a wide receiver, a designation that comes with a significant salary boost.

Greg Hardy, DE, Carolina Panthers

The Panthers weren't about to let one of the most productive defenders from a year ago walk out the door. Hardy, who tallied 15 sacks last season, will haul in $13.116 million in 2014 as a result.

Nick Folk, K, New York Jets

Using the franchise tag on a kicker isn't as uncommon as you may think -- in fact, five kickers were tagged in 2012. Folk, who banged in 33 of his 36 field goals last season, is still working on a long-term deal with the Jets, but for now, he's scheduled to make $3.556 next season. That's more than four times what he earned in 2013.

Brian Orakpo, OLB, Washington Redskins

Reports indicated that the Redskins had a tough time making up their minds on Orakpo, who was the first player tagged on the deadline day. He's highly valued by the organization, but some within the brass were leaning towards addressing other areas of need using the hefty funds required to keep him around. Thanks to a great cap number, however, the Redskins still have roughly $18 million in cap room left after paying Orakpo $11.455 in 2014.

Two teams also opted to use the less-restrictive transition tag instead of the franchise tag.

Alex Mack, C, Cleveland Browns

Cleveland tagged the Pro Bowl center and saved roughly $1.5 million by not using the franchise tag. While the Browns won't receive compensation if Mack leaves via free agency, they will have the option to match any offer sheet he signs. Cleveland has plenty of cap space, so the transition tag could allow Mack's market to set itself, with the Browns ultimately matching the deal.

Jason Worilds, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers

In a bit of a surprise, the Steelers opted to use the transition tag on the outside linebacker. Price may have been a bigger factor in the decision, with the cap-strapped Steelers saving roughly $1.7 million by using the transition tag instead of the franchise tag. With the $9.754 million tender and LaMarr Woodley's lucrative contract, Pittsburgh currently has a large chunk of its salary cap tied up in its two starting outside linebackers.

Now for the notable players who did not get tagged on Monday.

Jairus Byrd S, Buffalo Bills

A year after tagging the All-Pro safety, the Bills opted not to repeat that course of action with Byrd. Doing so would have cost Buffalo $8.433 million. Although he had some injury issues in 2013, Byrd isn't likely to have a lack of suitors on the open market should he and the Bills not agree to a long-term deal before free agency begins.

Vontae Davis, CB, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts' No. 1 corner didn't get tagged, despite Indianapolis' desire to keep him. The 25-year-old could still come to terms on a deal before free agency. The top-end corners account for some of the largest contracts in the NFL, making the franchise tag cumbersome at $11.834 million.

Lamarr Houston, DE, Oakland Raiders

Houston is coming off a solid season and has been a productive player, but the Raiders appear to have other priorities. Reports indicate re-signing left tackle Jared Veldheer is Oakland's top priority. The Raiders opted not to tag him either, and both players could hit the open market.

Eugene Monroe, OT, Baltimore Ravens

Monroe solidified the left tackle spot on Baltimore's offensive line following a trade from Jacksonville, but with an $11.654 million franchise price tag, he was too expensive to tag. Baltimore is working with restricted salary cap space and may struggle to fit an extension for Monroe under the cap.

Alterraun Verner, CB, Tennessee Titans

Verner is in the discussion of the top corners in the NFL, but that wasn't enough to get tagged. It would have cost Tennessee $11.834 million to tag Verner, which would have been on top of the $8.3 million cap hit Jason McCourty will account for next season, according to Tennessee could still make a move, but if Verner hits free agency then he should be a hot commodity.

T.J. Ward, S, Cleveland Browns

Ward and Mack are Cleveland's top two free agents. The Browns would like to keep both, but opted to use the transition tag on Mack. Teams are only allowed to use one of the two tags each year, meaning Ward will become a free agent if no deal is struck.

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