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Monday, March 4, 2013
Franchise tag deadline looms

By Bill Williamson

Monday is the deadline for teams to place the franchise tag on players.

The focus in the AFC West will be on Kansas City. The Chiefs have key free agents: receiver Dwayne Bowe, left tackle Branden Albert and punter Dustin Colquitt. One of the players will likely be given the franchise tag. The speculation has been that Bowe will likely get tagged, but all three players are options. If I had to guess, I’d think Bowe -- who was franchised last year -- will be tagged. The Chiefs are talking to all three players.

Denver tagged left tackle Ryan Clady on Friday. It would be a surprise if Oakland tagged anyone Monday. San Diego is not expected to place the franchise tag on any player.

Meanwhile, several AFC West players remain in danger being cut or are subject to major pay cuts before the league year begins March 12. Among the top candidates to be cut are Oakland’s Tommy Kelly and Darrius Heyward-Bey, Kansas City’s Tyson Jackson and Matt Cassel and San Diego’s Jared Gaither. Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer will probably have to accept a big pay reduction.