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February 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Don’t be surprised if Seahawks don’t use Franchise Tag

The above headline isn’t a surprise, either, as the Seahawks have not used their Franchise Tag since 2010.

But the word at the NFL Combine is that the Seahawks are likely to not use their Franchise Tag this year — the two-week period to slap it on a player began Monday.

As explained here, a Franchise Tag is used to give a player a one-year contract that is the greater of the average of the top five salaries (usually salary cap numbers) at his position once the restricted free agent signing period has ended (May 2) or 120 percent of his prior year’s salary. A player cannot negotiate with other teams after receiving an exclusive franchise tag.

The likely candidates for Seattle were generally considered to be WR Golden Tate, DE Michael Bennett and PK Steven Hauschka, all unrestricted free agents.

But in each case, putting them under the Franchise Tag would mean a significant raise, and likely more than they will command per average season for a multi-year contract on the open market.

Seattle has not used the Franchise Tag since 2010, when the Seahawks put it on PK Olindo Mare, in what was the first season for coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider.

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