Deadlines spur action. Monday's 4 p.m. ET franchise tag deadline was no different.
A bevy of teams were in line to use the one-year leverage tag or at least consider using it on their Pro Bowl-caliber players.
Below are the teams who used their tag in the first serious movement prior to the start of free agency.
Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs, linebacker: The NFL's leading sack-man with 22 in 2014 will remain under Andy Reid's guidance. Just 26, Houston has made three straight Pro Bowls and was the key to the Chiefs' front-seven dominance last year. The linebacker won't sign the tag ($13.195 million) right away, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos, wide receiver: The wideout earned 469 targets, 297 receptions, 4,483 yards, 15.1 yards per reception and 35 touchdowns over the past three seasons with Peyton Manning at the helm. Keeping him in Denver was the Broncos' offseason priority. Now they hope to use the ($12.823 million) tag leverage to get a long-term deal done.
Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants, defensive end: Rapoport broke the news that JPPwill remain a Giant. Tagging him will cost the Giants $14.813 million, so they will desperately try to work out a long-term contract. Observers slept on Pierre-Paul's quietly excellent 2014 campaign which included dominant run-stopping play. The Giants know how valuable he is.
Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions, defensive tackle: In the end the $26.8 million tag number proved too rich for the Lions' brass. Suh will be the rare Hall-of-Fame-caliber player to hit free agency in his prime. Jockeying for his services should thrust his contract north of the six-year, $100 million deal J.J. Watt signed.
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles, wide receiver: Maclin bet on himself last year and it paid off. The receiver is confident a deal could get done in Philly -- an offense that might be his best fit -- however he could find interest from teams like the Chiefs who have a need at the position and a connection with Andy Reid.