The franchise tag deadline has come and gone, expiring at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Teams have locked up some of their top talent for 2017 with exclusive and non-exclusive tags, including six of Around the NFL's top 10 free agents. But some big names are still entering the open market.
Who's staying in house? Who's hitting free agency? Read on for all your franchise tag news.
» Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers ensured Bell isn't hitting the free-agent market. The team placed the exclusive franchise tag on the dual-threat running back on Monday, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. The exclusive tag means he cannot negotiate with any other team. Bell will earn roughly $12.12 million on the tag.
» Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: The Redskins have enacted phase one of the Cousins conundrum. Washington placed the exclusive franchise tag on the quarterback, the team announced Tuesday. By opting for the exclusive designation, the Redskins have ensured that no other team can negotiate with Cousins absent Washington's permission. Because he's drawing the tag for a second consecutive season, Cousins' tender is valued at $23.94 million -- 120 percent of his 2016 salary.
» Chandler Jones, LB, Arizona Cardinals: As coach Bruce Arians suggested in early January, the Cardinals have prevented the star outside linebacker from reaching the open market, announcing the application of the non-exclusive tag on Monday. The two sides have until July 15 to negotiate a multi-year contract. If no agreement is reached, Jones will play under the linebacker tender $14.55 million for 2017.
» Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants: The Giants have placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on Pierre-Paul. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that it would cost Big Blue $16.93 million to retain the defensive end on the tag. He could be facing another prove-it season with this upcoming campaign, however, if the two sides aren't able to come to terms on a long-term deal.
» Kawann Short, DT, Carolina Panthers: The Panthers on Monday slapped the franchise tag on the productive, fifth-year defensive tackle. The sides have until July 15 to negotiate a multi-year contract. General manger Dave Gettleman is optimistic a deal can be reached, telling reporters, "So far, communication is open and it's been very amicable. We'll see." If no agreement is reached, Short will play under the tackle tender worth roughly $13.39 million for 2017.
» Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills: The team confirmed Wednesday that Gilmore will not be tagged, but the line of communication will be open for a new deal.
» Dont'a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots: Hightower is free to go to market -- for now. Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Patriots linebacker will not be slapped with the franchise tag, per sources informed of the situation. If he isn't re-signed in time, New England's Super Bowl LI game changer will hit free agency when the new league year opens March 9.
» Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears: The Bears won't play tag with Jeffery this year. Rapoport reported Monday morning the Bearsaren't expected to franchise tag the wide receiver, per sources. Jeffery played under the tag in 2016, earning $14.599 million. If the Bears utilized the tag on Jeffery again it would cost them $17.5 million, a price too rich for a receiver that missed 11 games the past two seasons.
EVP of football operations Sashi Brown had this to offer: "I think we'd like to have Terrelle back and that's a priority for us. That said, we're not going to panic if he's not back, also."