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Cross these guys off the list: 2013 NFL Franchise Tags

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Rick Stewart

In stark contrast to last year's record breaking 21 franchise tags, only eight players were franchised by their respective teams this time around. The deadline to use the tag was at 4:00 pm earlier today.

Among those tagged was Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson, whom was rumored to be a potential target for the Cleveland Browns.

The most obvious tag went to elite free safety Jairus Byrd at the mere cost of just under $7 million for the Buffalo Bills.

Anthony Spencer was tagged for the second time in a row and will receive 120 percent of his tender from last year.

One of the big name free agents that didn't receive the franchise tag is Miami Dolphins left tackle and 2008 first overall draft pick Jake Long. San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson also escaped the franchise tag, after having received it last year.

As for wide receivers, none were tagged. Dwayne Bowe reportedly agreed to a deal with the Kansas City Cheifs before the deadline, locking him up for another five seasons. Meanwhile, Greg Jennings is set to hit the open market in a week.

Lastly, Browns all-time franchise scoring leader Phil Dawson was not tagged for the third consecutive year and will finally test the free agency waters, which doesn't come as a surprise.

Here's the official list of 2013 franchise tags:

The free agency period officially begins at 4:00 pm, March 12.