As the deadline for teams to place a franchise or transitional tag on players has come and gone, there was a little suspense and a little surprise.
The Washington Redskins placed the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins for the second straight year, as the two sides continue to try to work out a long-term deal, fueling speculation that he could be playing elsewhere in 2018. Cousins joins Le'Veon Bell, Chandler Jones, Trumaine Johnson, Melvin Ingram and Jason Pierre-Paul among the most notable names getting franchised for the 2017 season.
In one of the more surprising developments of the franchise tag period, the New England Patriots decided not to tag Dont'a Hightower, one of the most crucial cogs in their past two Super Bowl championship runs. And on the heels of Eric Berry's new six-year, $78 million deal that gives him the most guaranteed money in the NFL among safeties, it may come as a surprise to some that the Kansas City Chiefs opted not to tag Dontari Poe. Among the other notable free-agents-to-be not to get a tag include Alshon Jeffery, A.J. Bouye, Terrelle Pryor Sr. and Stephon Gilmore.
Who most deserves a long-term deal, and which player are you most surprised to see not get a franchise tag?
The 2017 NFL league calendar begins on March 9, signaling the beginning of free agency and trades.
-- Brendan C. Hall