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Falcons 'not expected' to use franchise tag

Atlanta has a few fringe candidates it could use the tag on, but it doesn't seem likely this offseason.

US PRESSWIRE

The Atlanta Falcons are not expected to use the franchise tag this offseason, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.

Rapoport specifically mentions safety William Moore, who is a "priority" to re-sign this offseason.

Other key Falcons free agents include cornerback Brent Grimes and tackles Will Svitek and Sam Baker.

Since the Falcons don't have any top-tier free agents, it would be hard to envision the team using the franchise tag to give any of these players top-tier money. Even though Moore is a priority, he still only played 12 games this year and 12 games last year. The Falcons would have to commit a lot of money to Moore in hopes he plays more than three quarters of the season.

Alex Welch at The Falcoholic hopes the team and Moore can strike a deal:

Despite his inconsistency and injury issues at times, we've seen how important Moore can be. He is solid against the run, makes momentum-changing plays when needed and is hitting his prime right now. Let's hope the Falcons can reach an agreeable deal sometime soon if they truly aren't using a franchise tag on C4.

Grimes is in the same boat. Some consider him one of the better cornerbacks in the free agent market, but he only played in one game in 2012 before tearing his Achilles tendon. Does he deserve top-tier money?

Baker had one of his best seasons in 2012 as Matt Ryan's left tackle, starting 15 games. And Svitek missed the entire 2012 season with an arm injury. Since both are left tackles, the team would likely want to bring at least one of them back -- but not at the high price of a franchise tag.