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You're It! Franchise Tags And Fresh Releases Change Cowboys Free Agency Landscape

Maybe next year. The franchise tag means DE Calais Campbell will stay in Arizona for at least one more season.
Maybe next year. The franchise tag means DE Calais Campbell will stay in Arizona for at least one more season.

Busy 24 hours. The 32 teams of the National Football League have until this coming Monday to designate their franchise players. Under the new CBA, an exclusive-rights franchised player will be signed for one year at a number far below previous seasons. It used to be the player would receive the average of the top five paid players at the position. Now, there is a formula based on the salary cap and the franchise amounts of the past five years.

Non-exclusive right franchised players are free to negotiate with other teams, but their original teams can match the offer or receive two first-round selections. Teams that designate a player are still free to negotiate a long-term deal with them, and then rescind the tag and apply it to another free agent.

As the deadline approaches, the activity has ramped up except in Dallas. Fans of the Cowboys are on pins and needles as to what the franchise will do with OLB Anthony Spencer. A tag for the maligned edge rusher changes everything about how they attack other positions on the team. Most of the expected tag recipients heard the news today. Follow the jump to see the list of all the players that learned of their future in the last couple of days; whether it be being locked in, or set free to find work elsewhere.

Player Team Action Notes
K Phil Dawson Browns Tagged Back to back tags for your kicker, and you wonder why you pick top 10 every year
K Mike Nugent Bengals Tagged Apparently will free up S Reggie Nelson to hit the open market
S Dashon Goldson 49ers Tagged Might send early 3rd rounder in '08 Reggie Smith packing. Could be possible Elam replacement
DE Calais Campbell Cardinals Tagged Fully expected, but man he would have been a great addition to the D-line.
WR Lee Evans Ravens Released Yawn
RB Ray Rice Ravens Tagged One of the only top flight runners on a winning team (hint, hint, hint)
TE Fred Davis Redskins Tagged One zone of kush away from being gone for a year. Have fun Redskins.
WR Mike Wallace Steelers Not Tagged RFA - would net PIT a 1st rounder this year w/o a trade made
WR DeSean Jackson Eagles Tagged According to Mike Lombardi, Eagles might settle for a third rounder for him
RB Marshawn Lynch Seahawks Not Tagged YET Expected by Monday if no long term deal met
DE Aaron Smith Steelers Released Barely played last few years. Last stellar year was 2008
CB Brent Grimes Falcons Tagged Expected as well, top corner on the market will probably hold out until season.
CB Cortland Finnegan Titans Not Tagged And won't be tagged, according to Schefter and local writers
LB James Farrior Steelers Released 37 years old. If Wade was still here I'd be worried.
DE Cliff Avril Lions Tag Coming This could possibly put Stephen Tulloch on the market
SS Tyvon Branch Raiders Tagged Safety market morphs as now expect Michael Huff to be released
CB Chris Carr Ravens Released Dropped down the Baltimore depth chart last year, depth consideration like a Frank Walker
RB Matt Forte Bears Tagged JUST TAGGED

Obviously, more players will hit the list over the weekend, and then we'll be down to a week before teams can actually sign new players. It's coming people... it's coming.

So are there any surprises here for you? Any releases that caught your eye?

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