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Monday, February 17, 2014
Franchise/transition tags: Buccaneers


Monday is the first day teams can use the franchise or transition tags, which means absolutely nothing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But that's a good thing.

Franchise and transition tags are reserved for use on prominent players who can't agree to a long-term contract. They result in a high salary that is guaranteed for just one year, and that often plays havoc with a team's cap.

That's not a problem for the Bucs because they don't have any potential free agents who are worthy of their franchise tag or the transition tag. Tampa Bay's list of free agents is headed by the likes of special teams captain Adam Hayward, fullback Erik Lorig and wide receiver Tiquan Underwood. The Bucs will want to re-sign some of their own free agents, but only at a reasonable price.

Say what you want to about former general manager Mark Dominik's tenure, but he left the Bucs in pretty good shape in a lot of ways. There was a time when it looked as if the franchise tag could be a big factor in 2014.

That was back when Josh Freeman was the quarterback. Freeman's contract ran through the end of the 2013 season, which was supposed to be a make-or-break year. But Freeman's career fell apart in spectacular fashion early in the season and the Bucs were forced to cut him in October.

The downside was the Bucs parted ways with a guy they once thought could be a franchise quarterback. But the upside is that the Bucs don't have to pay big money to Mike Glennon, who entered the league as a third-round draft pick.