Colts Do Not Use Franchise Tag, Free Agency Up Next

Intro: Only five teams used the franchise tag on Monday and the Colts were not one of them. How does that impact the free agency period starting next Tuesday?

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INDIANAPOLIS – For the second straight season, the Colts did not designate the franchise tag.

That means the Colts will have one week to get any potential deals done with their 12 unrestricted free agents.

The new league year begins on Tuesday, March 10 at 4:00 p.m.

Starting Saturday at 4:00 p.m., teams can begin contract negotiations with the agents of potential free agents. That four-day period lasts until the free agency madness commences on Tuesday.

Here's a look at the five teams that did use the franchise tag on Monday:

Broncos: WR-Demaryius Thomas

Analysis: The Broncos weren't letting one of the game's best receivers hit the open market. With the likelihood of Peyton Manning returning, Denver brings back Thomas while Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas looks to be hitting free agency. For the fourth time in three years, the Colts will face D. Thomas and the Broncos next season (a regular season meeting at Lucas Oil Stadium).**

Chiefs: OLB-Justin Houston**

Analysis: Even though Houston has put up some incredible pass rushing numbers the past two years, he still flies under the national radar. Since being drafted in 2011, Houston has piled up 48.5 sacks in his four NFL seasons while earning three Pro Bowls.**

Cowboys: WR-Dez Bryant**

Analysis: The Cowboys figure to have plenty of intrigue following their offseason moves. They took care of Bryant on Monday and now the attention heads towards 2014 leading rusher DeMarco Murray.**

Giants: DE-Jason Pierre-Paul**

Analysis: Pass rushers are at a premium in this league and that's why you see two of the game's best on this list. Pierre-Paul had 12.5 sacks for the Giants in 2014.**

Patriots: K-Stephen Gostskowski**

Analysis: Bill Belichick loves his special teams and that's seen by tagging Gostkowski, one of the game's most accurate kickers. That means safety Devin McCourty could hit the free agent market. In a weak safety draft class, McCourty will be highly, highly coveted if the Patriots can't re-sign him by next Tuesday.

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