Will Any of the Browns' Division Rivals Use the Franchise Tag?

While the Cleveland Browns still have a decision to make on whether they will use the franchise tag on either C Alex Mack or SS T.J. Ward, are there any other teams in the AFC North who could be looking to use the tag? Let's take a quick look:

  • Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have used the tag the past two years, but they are not expected to use it in 2014. Using it on DE Michael Johnson again would be pricey, taking up half of the team's available cap space, and they are hoping to sign him to a long-term deal. There is a chance they use it on OT Anthony Collins, but again, due to the team's limited cap space, they are trying to stay away from the tag this year and go for long-term deals. VERDICT: Unlikely.

  • Baltimore Ravens: The heavy rumors right now is that if they cannot reach a new deal with TE Dennis Pitta, the Ravens will slap the franchise tag on him. If that happens, Pitta might file a grievance, wishing to be tagged as a wide receiver instead due to how often he lines up in the slot. VERDICT: Possible.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers have not used the franchise tag for several years, and it's unlikely that they will do so this year. They are in the hole in terms of cap space, so they need to clear room. If they did some drastic cuts, they could try to use the tag on someone like ILB Jason Worilds. VERDICT: Doubtful.

The deadline for teams to make a decision on the franchise tag is March 3.

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